Essay Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre as a Cinderella Story

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Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre as a Cinderella Story

Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre can be characterized in many ways as a variation of Cinderella. There are several versions of this popular fairy--tale. At the time Bronte’s novel was published, the Grimms’ book of tales, which included Cinderella, was very popular. According to Sally Mitchell, "The serious interest in folklore was spurred by the translation, in 1823, of the stories collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm." A version of Cinderella was also written by Charles Perrault. Both Perrault’s and the Grimms’ tales have a place in Bronte’s narrative. There is no specific evidence of her reading these yet, "Bronte could easily have known two versions of the Cinderella tale: the
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She tells her that she must always remain good and devout, and that God will help her and she will watch over her from heaven. Eventually Cinderella’s father remarries. His new wife has two daughters who although beautiful are said to be black at heart. They are terribly mean to Cinderella and will not even let her eat with them because they say she did not earn it. She is forced to work and wear shabby gray frocks and wooden shoes. One day her father travels to the fair and asks the daughters what he can bring them. The materialistic sisters asked for fine clothes and jewels. Cinderella on the other hand, asks for the first twig that brushes against her father’s hat on his return. The sisters make fun of Cinderella for this, yet she took the twig and planted it on her mother’s grave. Her tears watered it and a great tree emerged. Cinderella would go daily to the tree and pray. A bird would always be there, and whatever Cinderella asked for it would throw down.

Cinderella discovers at one point in the story the king is giving a festival to find his son a bride. Her stepmother tells her she can go if she picks out all the lentils that they threw in the fireplace. Cinderella agrees and calls to all the birds under heaven that come and help her with her task. Yet no matter what she did, her stepmother had no intentions of letting her go to the festival. After the others leave, Cinderella weeps on her