The Wicked Stepmother's Tale Analysis

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Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl named Cinderella who lived with her wicked stepmother and two cruel stepsisters. Jealous of Cinderella’s beauty, they forced her to dress in rags and put her in charge of all the housework. She suffers silently until one night her fairy godmother helps her get to the royal ball. When at the ball, the prince falls in love with her and she has the opportunity to live “happily ever after.” At least that’s the version most young girls have been told. However, not many have heard this familiar story from the wicked stepmother’s perspective. Sara Maitland offers this opposing point of view in “The Wicked Stepmother’s Lament,” which significantly changes the meaning of the tale. Traditionally, Cinderella …show more content…
active characters and the importance of beauty. Lieberman notices that portraying Cinderella as a passive character, like many other females, is done purposely and causes a reason for concern. Cinderella is thought to be beautiful and kind, while her stepmother and stepsisters are ugly and cruel. Similar to other fairytales, the powerful woman is almost always considered the villain, while the passive girl is given the happy ending without having to work for it. 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. Therefore, she wants Cinderella to take control of her happy ending rather than hopelessly waiting for it to come to …show more content…
The original version provide a narrower outlook on the story and can easily set up unrealistic expectations for young girls. This change alters the theme from good conquering evil to a story between a mother and daughter. As part of Maitland’s new theme, she promotes a feminist message within her version of the fairytale. This allows her to establish a moral with a larger meaning. Because of this version, more people can come to the realization that there is a far greater “happily ever after” for the princess who doesn’t wait around for the prince to come sweet her off her feet, but instead who is strong enough to provide herself with her own happy

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