Charles Perrault's Cinderella Analysis

Improved Essays
One of the most the popular fairy tales is the story of Cinderella, a young girl who excuses people’s behavior easily and is rewarded for her grace and silence. The concept of a Cinderella story has permeated American books, television shows, and films in part because the adaptations reflect the American characteristic of working hard to achieve success. Although the origins of the Cinderella fairy tale are unknown, Charles Perrault’s “Cinderella: Or the Little Glass Slipper” is a classical version that is popular throughout the world. Maid in Manhattan, a contemporary version of Cinderella, was released in 2002 and directed by Wayne Wang. The film adaptation depicts single mother Marisa Ventura working as a hotel maid, but aspiring to be promoted …show more content…
The traditional Cinderella figure is often burdened with household chores and is made invisible in her home. In Perrault’s “Cinderella: Or the Little Glass Slipper,” Cinderella tolerates the behaviors of her stepmother and stepsisters silently, which defines the expectations of women back then. She performs tedious chores including “the rough work around the house…[and] washing the pots and pans, cleaning Madame’s room and those of her stepsisters too” (Perrault 97). The responsibilities of the Cinderella figure suggest that women are accountable for maintaining the household. Because the Cinderella character represents the ideal woman, Perrault’s variant conveys the message that women should be subservient, submissive, and silent. Since Cinderella is the only woman performing domestic chores in the household, Perrault is contrasting the personalities of the heroine and the evil characters, which reestablishes the expected behaviors of women in Europe centuries ago. As a result of the chores only being performed by the heroine, Perrault is suggesting that women should behave like Cinderella and be silent figures in society. In contrast to Cinderella’s behavior, the attitudes of the wicked stepmother and materialistic stepsisters might be considered too dominating for seventeenth-century European culture. Therefore, in the fairy tale, they are punished for their actions suggesting that women who behave like them will also be punished in society. The characteristics of the classical Cinderella figure align with the expectations of women in European society in the latter part of the seventeenth

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Panttaja mentions that, “Cinderella’s mother is imagined as absent despite the fact that she plays a central part in the unfolding of Cinderella’s destiny” (286). The “Cinderella’s” traditional theme considers the main character’s ability to achieve success while still remaining humble when confronted with negative circumstances, but by Panttaja’s repetition of the word “mother,” she presents a new theme of a mother and daughter’s relationship. Panttaja does not choose other words such as “mom, parent, or child-bearer” because it diverts from the effect of the word “mother.” By frequently repeating the word, it sticks in the reader 's minds and compels them to listen…

    • 1037 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It teaches them that a women 's role in life is to be a caregiver and take care of others before themselves. It also teaches young girls that they are weaker, physically, mentally, and intellectually, however once a prince is found and you fall in love, all your problems will disappear. The film is irresponsible since it perpetuates female stereotypes and establishes the patriarchy as the means for women to be fulfilled. Cinderella is not given the same amount of respect as her step sisters Drizella and Anastasia by her stepmother. Cinderella is treated like a maid, and is far from having equal rights and being treated like a person.…

    • 750 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Frozen it is the female character Anna who is the stronger character, unlike Cinderella. It is Anna who saves her sister Elsa by making her realise that she can control her powers through an act of true love in the end. Nowadays, females are more independent and do not need males to accompany them and help them. This is highlighted when Anna goes to find her sister Elsa alone, leaving the male Hans behind to watch the Castle. Also, Anna chooses to save her sister rather than run to her true love, Kristoff.…

    • 929 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Have you ever been treated like no one wants you? Well, Cinderella has a pretty good idea of what it's like. In her story she is being mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, Anastasia, and Drizella. In both the Disney's version and the Grimm's version she feels this way. As she tries her best to please them it seems that it's just not good enough, but with a little help her dreams can come true.…

    • 681 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    The tale of Cinderella idolizes suffering in silence and expecting something good to happen in return (197). This idea that Lieberman explains is what Maitland wants to demolish. The wicked stepmother isn’t so wicked after all. In fact, she cares deeply about Cinderella. She is just an example of an active woman who sees the power she has within herself as a strength and wants to share that strength with her stepdaughter.…

    • 2228 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Most Cinderella stories revolve around a young girl who suffers after her mother passes away and is neglected by her step-mother. The girl normally has a magical force that helps her overcome her obstacles and grant her a wish. The climax in the story often involves a shoe or slipper that reveals how beautiful Cinderella truly is. Without a doubt, Cinderella is one of the most remarkable stories. The Brothers Grimm and Charles…

    • 1607 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Instead of bothering to find out the maidens name the Prince is adamant about no maiden being his wife “but the maiden whose foot fits this slipper” (GRIMMS CITATION). By Cinderella being able to fit the slipper she is satisfying the Prince’s need of a wife. In the Grimm’s “Cinderella” the Prince is the highest reward there is and as a result, a Triangle of Violation emerges between the most beautiful female and rival females. Cinderella’s stepsisters try to compete with Cinderella by chopping off…

    • 1985 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    These reactions to Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, exemplify the expectations and roles of women in society during the 19th century. The severe backlash upon the work illuminated the way in which society trained people not only to see woman but society. Women were the second sex, not respected or even see as human but rather dealt with as a plaything. Ibsen through language, scenery, and characters’ actions demonstrates a woman’s place in the world. A world where a woman’s identity and validation can only be found by what she is to her husband and children and even that is highly insignificant, for like any other broken doll she could be just as easily replaced with a newer prettier version.…

    • 1962 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In the book “Victorian Transformations: Fairy Tales, Adolescence and the novel of female development” several critics have seen Jane Eyre as a rewriting story of the Cinderella and the beginning of the book especially supports this view. To begin with, Robert K. Martin believes that the Cinderella’s theme is especially apparent in the first chapters of the novel, "as Jane Eyre emphasizes her own position as abandoned child, with evil aunt and two [sic] evil cousins, whose parentage is questioned, and who is made to feel “less than a servant” (p.92). It is noticeable that both Cinderella and Jane are parentless and victims of the envy and cruelty - Cinderella lives with a vicious stepmother and stepsisters, and Jane with her Aunt Reed. Her…

    • 825 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Women 's roles in fairy tales portray this detestation by beautiful yet submissive women cast as the positive representation of women while the evil portrayal shows the example of what isn 't allowed in the society. With women in these belittling positions, it makes…

    • 1008 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics