Good morning/afternoon, my name is Mel Howard. I am an expert in literature and more specifically the role of fairytales over time. Cinderella is one of the most well-known fairytales around the world, there are between 500 and 1500 different versions of this story currently worldwide. Each story symbolises a different culture and within that culture, theirValues and attitudes. The story of Cinderella is based around a young lady (the heroine), who suffers in the hands of her step-family after the death of her mother.
The heroine is not always referred to as Cinderella, in some versions different names which better suit the culture are used.
In some stories the heroine’s father is absent; in other stories he is present but simply neglects her. The heroine has a magical guardian who helps her triumph over Her nasty family. Her guardian is often the key to the heroine receiving her greatest wish and is usually referred to as the Fairy Godmother. In some versions, the guardian is a representation of the heroine’s dead mother, sometimes in the form of an animal, or in Grimm’s version, a tree is planted over her mother’s grave; this provides the heroine with materials for the magical event.
Most tales include a magical event sparked by a Piece of clothing that causes the heroine to be recognised for her true worth. The clothing article is usually a glass slipper or some other form of shoe. Almost every version of the story consists of the following characters: Heroine’s mother. Some stories only mention her once, while other versions have the dead mother providing assistance to the heroine in either an animal form or through magical objects. The ‘evil’ Stepmother has been a Villain since the earliest known versions of Cinderella; she is very cruel and makes the heroine do chores and other cruel business.
The heroine’s father is absent but not dead in most versions, the father does not usually interfere in the conflict between the step-family and the heroine. The man the heroine falls in love with is usually a Prince forced to marry a women by his father. In many versions the Prince is not called Prince Charming, this name was popularised by the Walt Disney film, Cinderella. Finally the Fairy Godmother, the character that makes the story a fairytale. This character provides the essential elements needed for a fairytale, magic.
Among many versions of Cinderella, there are selected versions which depict the traditional storyline best and represent the values and attitudes of that historical period in which they were written. A few include- Ancient Chinese version, modern, Western version, the film ‘A Cinderella Story’, and film ‘Ella Enchanted. ’ These versions are written at different times during history and tell responders a lot about that particular time. By analysing and comparing these stories, responders can understand the different changes in history as well as the attitudes and values of those cultures.
The earliest known version of Cinderella is theAncient Chinese tale, written in the 9th Century. The heroine, Yeh Hsien, is wise, generous, intelligent and good at pottery. This is demonstrated when her fish gets killed by her step-mother. “She howled with grief in the open countryside. ” After the fishes death Yeh Hsien buries its bones and is then granted any wish she chooses. This story gives responders knowledge of the Chinese culture; they value the personality and traits Of others. They are not however, forgiving.
The evil characters receive a very gruesome, brutal punishment at the end of the tale; they are struck with flying stones which results in their death. This portrays an unforgiving culture. This fairytale teaches readers to be good or terrible things will happen to them, also beauty lies within a person. The Western version is a lot more modern than the Chinese version. The heroine, Cinderella, is Nice, hard-working and compliant. In this text she is constantly described as beautiful and it is her beauty which depicts her as the good character and her step-family as the bad. Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl called Cinderella and she had two ugly step-sisters. ” This begins from the first sentence and continues throughout the tale. This tale includes a Fairy Godmother who helps fulfil Cinderella’s dreams and wishes. In this version the responder learns that the society described values beauty of people and the way they look. This reveals a very materialistic culture and society. The evil characters in this version are forgiven at the end of the story and are able to attend the wedding of the Prince and Cinderella.
This illustrates an understanding and forgiving society. The overall morale and purpose of this version is that good will come from those Who wait, and that if you have faith, dreams will come true. Another Cinderella version is the film ‘A Cinderella Story’. The heroine, Sam communicates with a male at her school, Austin via text message, neither one aware of who each other really are. Towards the end of the film they find out who each other are. Sam is heavily influenced by her dad who is not present for most of the movie. Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing The game,” said by Sam’s dad before he leaves. This quote has great meaning through the film and is a clear demonstration of the culture represented at that period of time. This is a much more modern version of Cinderella which has similar characteristics to those of today as it is one of the most recent versions. ‘Ella Enchanted’ is another film which represents a similar storyline to the traditional Cinderella. Ella, the heroine, is A young lady who had a spell put on her as a Baby; she must do what people tell her to do.
While being chased by police they yell “freeze” while she is mid-air. She quite literally freezes in the air, nothing holding her up. Ella is unable to break her curse until the end of the movie when the King orders her to kill the Prince, Ella breaks the curse as her love for the Prince is too strong to harm him. They eventually get married and live “Happily Ever After. ” These stories are excellent in gaining a deeper knowledge about the Cinderella stories and how they have changed over the years. The differences in the cultures and their values and feelings about the world and the people in it.
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