Cinderella Essay, Research Paper
The Different Versions of Cinderella The Grimm brothers and Charles Perrault use two different approaches to retelling the oldest fairytale, Cinderella. Most of children s literature has a fairytale setting, but different authors have different ideas on what belongs in a fairytale. Children are very impressionable and gullible. Children do not know what is right from wrong in most cases. It is important to know what they are reading or watching to make sure it is appropriate. There has been a link found between a child s violent or disturbing behavior and the things they are exposed to, such as television. There are even things in a simple fairytale that do not seem appropriate for a young child to read. Fairytales of a more crude nature are more appropriate for an older audience. The criteria I have found to be suitable for a child include a learned lesson, characters a child can relate to such as animals, some kind of magic, and a happy ending. Cinderella is the oldest fairytale to be told, and it has been told for centuries. Through all the years there has been many versions to stem from the original that started in China. Charles Perrault lived in the 17th century, many years after the first Cinderella story was told. Perrault s version is traditional to what most of the stories consist of. In Perrault s version, he explains how there was a man who lost his first wife and is left with his only daughter. After marrying again and welcoming his new wife s daughters into his home, the trouble for Cinderella began. Cinderella was disliked by her new family and was given all the housework. As time passed, the King s son wanted to find a wife and decided to throw a ball for all the young ladies of the town to come so his son could decide on who he wanted to marry. Cinderella is unable to attend because she has no clothes suitable for the event. While weeping, her fairy godmother appears to help her with everything she needs to go to the ball. This includes a pumpkin turned into a carriage, horses and coachmen from mice and rats and a beautiful dress from the wand. Cinderella makes a wonderful impression and the King s son fell in love with her. When Cinderella s foot fits perfectly in the mysterious glass slipper, Cinderella and the Prince took off to be married. At the end, the stepsisters beg Cinderella for forgiveness. Cinderella forgives them and invites them to live in her new beautiful palace. Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm have written many different fairytales and they were told to them, including the story of Cinderella. The version of Cinderella used by the Grimm brothers is called Ashputtle. The foundation of this story is similar. Ashputtle mother dies and she is left with her father who remarries and welcomes his new wife s daughters in his home. The wicked stepmother and stepsisters made Ashputtle a servant. One day Ashputtle asks her father to bring home the first branch that touches his head and it happens to be a hazel branch. Ashputtle plants this branch by her mother s grave and prays for help. As an announcement came for a celebration held by the King, Ashputtle begs to have permission to go. Her stepmother gives her a hard task and if she completes it, her permission would be granted. After many hours of work by the doves she calls upon and herself, Ashputtle is still unable to go. After going to the tree she planted for her mother and crying out above for help, her wishes are granted and she goes to the celebration. After three nights of dancing, the Prince falls for Ashputtle and wants to marry her. Ashputtle tried to get away from him and he pulls her slipper off hoping to find her again. As he goes door to door to find the girl who s foot it belongs, the two stepsisters cut off pieces of their feet to make the shoe fit. When the Prince realizes from the blood what they did, he takes them back to their house. After fitting the shoe on Ashputtle s foot perfectly, they ride away on his horse to be married. As the sisters tried to be a part of Ashputtle s happiness, the doves peck out their eyes and punish them to blindness.
Perrault and the Grimm brothers both tell a great version of the Cinderella story. The criteria in Perrault s version includes a learned lesson, it pays off to work hard. It also includes a magical experience with the fairy godmother and the wand. Although there are no animals in the story, the characters are easy to relate to. The ending of Perrault s story is probably the happiest ever made in the Cinderella story. On the other hand, the Grimm brothers fit into the criteria including the animals for the children to relate to and magic, but the learned lesson might be hard for a child to notice. A child might not understand why the stepsisters were punished as they were going to apologize to Ashputtle and join in her happiness. There is also a great deal of vulgarity in a sense of violence. This is shown through the stepsisters cutting off their feet to fit into the shoe and their eyes being pecked out. This story is made more for an older audience because they will understand the vulgarity of the story.