Anne Sexton Cinderella Analysis

Improved Essays
Dear Lucy,

Anne Sexton’s “Cinderella” is not like the classic fairytale we all know and love. In this version, Cinderella is portrayed as a beautiful young girl; however, she is impoverished. Ever since she was little, her father, stepmother, and stepsisters treated her with brutality. Later on, with the help of her magical dove, Cinderella gets her wish of going to the ball, where her and Prince Charming meet. In contrast to the original fairytale, Prince Charming has an absence of intelligence and comes off a bit aggressive. Sexton’s version mocks the original fairytale by putting a focus on behavior of the characters. Both the father and Prince Charming in Sexton’s story are portrayed as inept men. Sexton chooses to illustrate them as such because she is
…show more content…
Unlike the original version, he is alive. In the original “Cinderella,” her father’s absence played a big role in the story. With him being gone, no one was there to defend Cinderella from her evil stepmother and stepsisters. However, Sexton’s warped version makes Cinderella’s father an enemy by putting him in the same category as her cruel stepmother and stepsisters. Cinderella’s father “brought presents home from town, jewels and gowns for the other women but the twig of a tree for Cinderella” (Sexton). Here, Cinderella’s father overlooks his daughter but cherishes his wife and stepdaughters. Prince Charming is another disappointing male figure in Cinderella’s life. When the ball was over, “The prince walked her home and she disappeared into the pigeon house and although the prince took an axe and broke it open she was gone” (Sexton). Being chased by “Prince Charming” is expected to be romantic, but Sexton twists the story, making Prince Charming seem vicious. Sexton’s description of both Prince Charming and Cinderella’s father discloses her feelings about the high-ranking status they are awarded with in almost all

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Fairy tales are full of fantasies of romance and magic, which in reality aren’t possible, however, one can dream. Walt Disney’s film Cinderella, and the Brothers Grimm story, Aschenputtel (Cinderella), both tell the tale of a young maiden who loses everything, except her dignity, which results in her sadly becoming a servant to her evil stepmother and sisters, but eventually she finds her prince charming, living happily ever after. Although these two stories seem alike, they are each told differently. The Brothers Grimm version, in which Walt Disney based his film off of, was mainly written for adults, due to certain gruesome scenes too harsh and graphic for children. As a result of this, changes were made by Disney, making the story friendlier…

    • 824 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They are both living with families that are not their natural families and forced to serve those families. Cinderella serves her stepfamily while Rapunzel serves the witch that she believes to be her mother. Both desire to leave their situations and imprisonment. Both escape and marry the man of their dreams. However, Cinderella is not an active participant in her own story.…

    • 1540 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Although, one would also think that Cinderella’s father was absent from her life because of famous retellings, it is far from the truth. Surprisingly, he takes an interesting role in Cinderella’s life. The first active appearance he makes is when he is going to a fair and Cinderella requests for him to bring her back the first branch that brushes against his hat. Later on, he attends the ball with his wife and her two daughters, knowingly leaving Cinderella at home. He is most likely aware of all the work his daughter is made to do because she is always covered in ashes, hence the name Cinderella.…

    • 1228 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In both versions the stepsisters and Cinderella try on the shoe. Also in both, Cinderella loses her shoe at the ball or festival. Lastly, in both stories the prince and Cinderella live happily ever after. In the Disney's version, the stepsisters both try on the shoe and it does not fit them. Then Cinderella tries it on after being locked in her room by her stepmother because she doesn't want her to try it on and the slipper fits her.…

    • 681 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Life Is Anything But a Fairy Tale. Sibling Rivalry, as based in fairy tales, lead children to believe that's what their “happily ever after” life should start out. From the dark depths of the Brothers' Grimm to the purity of the Disney adaptations, fairy tales have always played apart of entertainment for children for centuries. However, these tales, specifically the Disney ones, show children of a happy ending between the prince and the princess who overcome the evil in the story. In the Brothers' Grimm's “Cinderella” the heroine of the story, Cinderella, was subject to years of cruelty because of her sisters jealousy.…

    • 968 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    The King finds this very impressive, so the miller gives his daughter up to go do a deed that she actually cannot do. This could have caused his daughter 's death, and does cause her to be miserable and to give up all she has to Rumplestiltskin, who spins the straw for her. The miller put his daughter in a very tough position only because he was being selfish and wants the King to view him as a more significant person (Grimm 192-194). In the story “Cinderella,” Cinderella’s father does not bother to stop how terribly she was treated; “She was obliged to work hard from morning to night, and to go out early to fetch water, make the fire, and cook and scour. The sisters treated her with every possible insult, derided her, and shook the peas and beans into the ashes, so that she had to pick them out again.…

    • 1756 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He lives with Cinderella and the step-family. He is rude to Cinderella and treats her the same way her step-mother and step-sisters treat her, which is unfairly. Her father acts like she is a trouble or a nuisance to the family. In Disney’s…

    • 722 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    These elements contribute to conveying the woman vs woman conflict discussed earlier that appears while discussing the beauty or evil roles aspect of oppressive fairy tales. The version of Cinderella written by Charles Perrault, Donkeyskin, is a salient example that uses the death of the Queen pushed the story with her strange request given to the husband about the next person he marries. In the event that the King wanted to wed again, the other woman must be “more beautiful, more accomplished…” than herself. As the months go by, the King decides that his daughter fits the characteristics that his deceased wife gave him. With the request, he doesn’t have any qualms performing his incestual desire to marry his daughter.…

    • 1008 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Many fairy tales have similar and different storylines and themes. Analyzing Brothers Grimm’s Cinderella and Joseph Jacobs’ Catskin with the Propp’s Thirty-One Functions, the Cinderella and Catskin tales are versions of the same tale for they have similar story attributes and themes even though they do not share every function on the Propp’s list. In both tales, a female hero who has a father works as a kitchen maid and is constantly harassed and ridiculed by a maternal figure. In Cinderella, Cinderella is harassed by her stepmother who makes her pick “bowls of lentils out of the ashes only” only to tell her that she cannot go to the festival with them. In Catskin, Catskin is harassed by Mrs. Cook who verbally and physically abuse her when she states how much she will like to go to the ball.…

    • 1220 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Almost all girls have either seen or have heard the “Cinderella” story before. Being a princess has been most girl 's dreams as a child, but little do they think about the theme and the message the “Cinderella” story creates. Elisabeth Panttaja, professor from Tufts University and author of the article “Cinderella: Not So Morally Superior,” explains a theme that people may find unsettling because she claims that Cinderella and the prince may not have been in love. She hints at the fact that Cinderella’s mother may have been the culprit in scheming and seducing the prince into marrying her. Many people would agree that this side of the story is inconsistent with the Cinderella they grew up with because the traditional “Cinderella” story is what…

    • 1037 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays