Colette Dowling's The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independency

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Colette Dowling's The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independency

In her book, The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independency, Ms. Colette Dowling states her belief in a condition which she names "the Cinderella complex", being an intricate system of beliefs put upon women which make them feel as if they must be submissive to the wills of others, seemingly less intelligent than they truly are. However, with a more detailed analysis of the tale of Cinderella, Dowling would have realized that this is not a completely accurate naming of her discovered complex. But in order to prove this, we ourselves must take a closer look at the tale of Cinderella.

In the classic version of Cinderella, that written by
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Necessarily, Charles Perrault's version is not as it was originally told him. This is proven from a certain element of Cinderella's character brought out only once in the story.

At the end of the story, on the night before the final ball, Cinderella asks her sister if she would be so kind as to let her borrow a dress of hers. Of course, her sister refuses. And then an element of the original tale breaks through.

"Cinderella was expecting this refusal and she was very glad when it came, for she would have been in an awkward position if her sister really had lent her her frock."

We see distinctly here that indeed Cinderella does have the womanly aspect of cunning and, more importantly, that she knows exactly when to use it.

We can prove that this cunning woman known heretofore only as "sweetness itself" is the true face of Cinderella, and the sweetness merely a facade, by exploring more deeply the tale of Cinderella in other cultures.

In the West African Cinderella, entitled "The Maiden, the Frog, and the Chief's Son", we once again see the heroine's cunning. Although she is still submissive to her mother and sister's wishes, her cunning directly influences the outcome of the story.

In the story, Cinderella is the beneficiary of the kind actions of a magic frog. The frog's miracles enable her to meet and wed the chief's son. And once she has been

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