Cinderella Or Domesticated Bonsai Tree?

Improved Essays
Cinderella or Domesticated Bonsai Tree?
Values and beliefs are passed from generation to generation. Sometimes though, those values and beliefs are outdated and problematic. Sometimes rather than uphold components of a culture or a generation, they drag down the people pressured to follow those outdated values. These beliefs and values are inherent in everything; from stories on the news to the fairytales retold to children at bedtime. Pursuing this further, there are many sexist ideas woven into literature, and media; the stereotype that women are irrational and meant to be docile, passive, kind and beautiful, and tamed is a common misperception that has found its way into literature from creation mythology to “Cinderella”. “Cinderella” reflects
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In short, “Cinderella” presents a story about a woman who conforms to patriarchal society and shows sexism ingrained into the story. Cinderella’s passivity is interpreted as kindness, she lets the dominant figure in her life control her, and is regarded for this attribute as kind, “The poor girl bore it all patiently, anyone besides Cinderella would have fixed their hair awry, but she was very good, and dressed them very well” (01). Women are expected to be beautiful and obedient, they are supposed to let the dominant man mold them into their assigned gender role. The role of woman is one that is restricted and limiting to life’s experiences. They are supposed to be able to cook for their husband, and to clean and to be beautiful and youthful whereas the man is meant to “wear the pants” and financially support his dependent wife. The tendency to demonize assertive behavior of women in fairy tales is unnerving, Cinderella obtains the “happily ever after” at the end of the story, however her outcome is unrealistic. Cinderella’s behavior teaches women that they should suffer in silence and except the way their lives are. Each character is molded by the patriarchal society, all in different …show more content…
A common stereotype about women is that they are irrational and chaotic, that they need to be controlled. The patriarchal society believes that when a women is in power, she becomes both cold, and evil. Cinderella’s stepmother completely controls her husband, she is domineering and therefore, cruel. Cinderella was forced to do the housework, she “… had to get up before sunrise, carry water, make the fire, cook, and wash” (Grimm 4). She had to be obedient and this is what makes her a character that fits in with society’s gender roles. Man goes after what he wants and the woman lets him have it. In that way, the roles of each gender are different and entirely separate. In Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s “Cinderella”, the prince notices Cinderella for her newfound beauty and “he placed his people in the street to keep watch. To prevent her from running away so fast, he had the stairway covered with pitch” (6). This presents the prince in a way that shows entitlement rather than charm, not only does he want the most beautiful woman at the party, but he goes to extreme lengths to keep her from running away from him. A poem by Marge Piercy talks about the sexism that women face, “One must begin very early to dwarf their growth: the bound feet, the crippled brain, the hair in curlers, the hands you love to touch” (Piercy). The ugly stepsisters are just that in Perrault’s story, they are ugly, and their personalities

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