Cinderella Essay, Research Paper
The “Cinderella Complex” which dates back to 1981 has not only out grown its meaning but has left some women with the psychology effect that it still exists to put blame elsewhere on their conditions in society. The year is now 1999 and the fairytale of Cinderella does not exist in reality, but many women still hold onto the hope of the fact that there might be a prince waiting to rescue them. Whether it be of misfortune throughout their years or it might be that fact that they are relying on their external beauty or career to put them in a daze to believe that the fairytale will come true sometime. In the older days when this “Cinderella Complex” existed many women would stay home with their families as the husband worked and many even went to college to find their “prince charming” however it is now the 90’s and there isn’t a designated sex that stays home or works. The entire fairytale of Cinderella reflects back to the “Cinderella Complex” and why people back then relied on their external selves to get them through life.
In the Dowling’s movie version, “Ever After” she presents the Cinderella story in the same manner however there are a few changes. For example, there is one nice stepsister that relates to Danielle not only because of the way the stepmother treats her but she knows how it feels because her own mother is doing the same to her. She meets the prince in the forest when she saves his life instead of the traditional stories of meeting the prince at the ball. I think that this gave more plot and details to the story. Even though this is relating to the fairytale of Cinderella it is a real life experience. Which doesn’t include the help of the animal helpers instead it is the help of the peasants in the household that get her a dress and do her hair. The evil stepmother and stepsister create a lot of problems for Danielle telling the prince that she is engaged and left on a boat, making a fool of her at the ball, and sold her to an old nasty man. Going back to the old version of locking her in the attic and creating many horrible chores for her exists in this version also. But in the end the of course she marries the prince, and the evil stepmother and stepdaughter get the treatment they deserve of being slaves themselves while the nice stepsister marries a kings men.
The Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm version of Cinderella, “Ashputtle” begins in the same way as all the others the mother dies and leaves the beautiful girl with her father who marries evil women and has two daughters. Ashputtle has a different character than the rest of the versions she is a piety character. She was known as Ashputtle because she always looked dirty in dusty from the ashes she had to sleep in. “At night, when she was tired out with work, she had no bed to sleep in but had to lie in the ashes by the hearth.” Asputtle didn’t care about beauty as much of the other Cinderella versions did. For example when her father asked her what she wanted from the fair she told him “break off the first branch that brushes against your hat on the way home, and bring it to me.” While the conceited stepdaughters wished for pearls and beautiful dresses a branch meant more to Ashputtle. When the time came to go to the ball Ashputtle helped the sisters to get ready and even begged to go to the ball too. However the evil stepmother refused unless Ashputtle could pick all the lentils out of the bowl in two hour then she could go. Ashputtle did just that and the stepmother took her promise back and still didn’t let her go. Finally the tree doves saved the day and they delivered all the gold and silver to Ashputtle from the mother’s spirit delivers her to the ball. When Ashputtle arrived there she danced with the prince all night and of course like most versions she dropped her slipper. The prince had everyone in the kingdom try the slipper on and when it came to the stepsisters turn they cut their heel and toes off to fit into the slipper. Not only did the prince find Ashputtle and make her his wife but also the stepsisters got punished for this by getting both their eyes poked out by the doves and became blind. This version had more violent in it then the other versions but still followed the same plot of the original version.
In the Perrault’s version of Cinderella, she is a beautiful, kind, passive, humble girl that takes all the hardship that the stepmother and stepdaughters with a pleasant attitude for example, “Anyone else would have done their hair in knots for them, but she had a sweet nature, and she finished it perfectly.” This version had the power of the fairy god mother that gave Cinderella a pumpkin for the carriage, turned the mice into horses, the lizards into footmen, rats into coachmen, and touched Cinderella with her wand to turn her dress into god and silver cloth. The fairy godmother did this because Cinderella was a good girl. Like most versions she goes to the ball, dances with the prince and when the clock strikes 12:00 she loses her shoe and the prince has every girl in the kingdom try it on. Cinderella didn’t try the slipper on in this version she pulled the other slipper out of her pocket and put it on her foot to prove that she was the owner of the slipper. Of course, Cinderella marries the prince and uses forgiveness on the sisters. “Cinderella raised them up and kissed them, saying that she forgave them with all her heart and asking them to love her always”. Not only did she forgive them but also she invited them to live in the castle and married them on the same day. The Cinderella in this version is a very sweet and forgiving girl unlike most other versions when revenge is forced back onto the sisters.
The Chinese had a different way of presenting Cinderella. She was called Yehhsien a daugher of a cave master. After her father died she lived with her stepmother who was just as evil as all the other stepmothers. Yshhsien had a fish that she took care of and when it got too big for all the bowls she put it in the pond outside. Everyday she would go outside and feed the fish and the fish would only come up for her no one else saw the fish. The stepmother knew about this and tricked Yehhsien by giving her a beautiful dress if she went to get water at a different pond. While Yehhsien was gone the stepmother put the old rags of Yehhsien’s on and went to the pond and called the fish. The fish came up and the stepmother cut his head off and ate the fish only leaving the bones. When Yehhsien went back to the pond the next day a man told her what the stepmother did and told her “take the fish’s bones and hide them in your room”. He also told her whatever she wants all she has to do is pray to the bones and she will get what she prayed for. So Yehhsien prayed for gold, pearls, dresses, and food and got just that. Yehhsien found herself at the ball by sneaking there after her stepmother and sisters left wearing “a cloak of stuff spun from kingfisher feathers and shoes of gold”. When the stepmother and sister recognized her she ran as fast as she could home losing a shoe. The shoe was found and sold to the T’o-han and he made every women try it on but still the shoe didn’t fit anyone until Yehhsien was found and he brought both her and the bones back to his country and made her chief wife. Evil was brought upon both the stepmother and stepsister, flying stones killed them. Throughout this version of Cinderella you can tell that the versions change depending on what country they were written in and the time period.
In my own experience I found that most teenagers in my senior year were continuing some kind of higher education after graduation. Instead of in the 1980’s when most women stayed home and let the guys do the work. I think that time has just changed and that everyone is realizing that they need to support themselves and not rely on a man or woman to take care of the financial status in the household. Change has overcome the statement “The Cinderella Complex”. Even in today’s society it is very important to support your self in case of a crisis that could occur such as a death, a lay off, or a divorce with the person making the living. Therefore, if this does happen then the person that isn’t working could get a job whereas if they didn’t go to school then they would have serious problems with this situation. I know that beauty is something everyone wants but I don’t believe that many people rely on their beauty to get them through the tough times in life or if they do they will find out quick that it won’t. That is why I do not feel that the “Cinderella Complex” still exists.
Throughout all Cinderella versions no matter how it is changed in small details the story still sticks to the same plot and meaning. There is an evil stepmother and stepsisters that are envy and jealous of the beautiful girl in rags and a magic whether it be the animal helpers or a spirit that give aid to her to make her wish come true of attending the ball. No matter which version you are reading most people will go into their own fantasy and dream along which caused the “Cinderella Complex” to become real. But today with reality we don’t centralize over this tale thinking it really can happen. Although many people are in confusion thinking that their outer beauty will get them a solution to reality even in today’s time when fairytales are only make believe.