In her article, “Cinderella: Not So Morally Superior,” Elisabeth Panttaja illustrates the important role of parents in a childhood. She talks about the importance the mother plays in all versions of Cinderella as well as evidence showing what lack of parenthood does to children. Panttaja claims by way of the Grimms Brothers version of Cinderella and how each mother wants to guarantee a bright and happy future for their daughters by marrying them off to the prince. The similarities between the wanting of Cinderella and the stepsisters married- and doing anything to get it- contradicts the idea that Cinderella and her mother were morally superior, or different at all, from the stepmother and sisters.
“Oh, fairytales, where desperate, naïve girls sacrifice everything for their so-called prince charming”. The realities of these childhood classics are controversial, sexist, and dark, yet, it’s also adored by millions of young girls around the world. Cinderella, an often sugar-coated story, is a great example on how sexism and gender stereotypes prevail in literature. The Grimm Brothers touch on a variety of devices, from characterization to symbolism, all revealing the inequality in not only fictional literature but our real-life society as well. A feminist literary critic will interpret these controversial themes and apply their beliefs of equal rights into the study of the Grimm Brother’s Cinderella.
Snow White is a fairy-tale known by many generations; it is a beloved Disney movie, and a princess favoured by many kids. But did you know the fairy-tale was made to teach young children, especially little girls, their duties in life? It also values beauty over knowledge, portrays women to be naive and incompetent, and assumes that women cannot understand anything other than common household chores. Throughout this criticism, I will be using the feminist lens to analyze the fairy-tale, Snow White, through the perspective of a feminist.
The tradition of telling fairy tales to children effects not only the listener but also the reader. Maria Tatar, in her book Off with Their Heads!, analyzes how fairy tales instill and reaffirm cultural values and expectations in their audience . Tatar proposes that fairy tales fall into three different tale-types: cautionary tales, exemplary stories, and reward- and- punishment tales. These three types portray different character traits as desirable and undesirable. Due to the tale’s varying literary methods it can change the effectiveness of the tale’s pedagogical value. In Tatar’s opinion, all of these tales are similar in the way they attempt to use punishment, reward, and fear to encourage or discourage certain behaviors. In the cautionary fairy tale “The Virgin Mary’s Child”, the use of punishment and fear to discourage certain behaviors is enhanced by the Christian motifs and values employed by the tale. These literary devices encourage the audience to reflect on and internalize the lessons that are presented in the fairy tale.
There is nothing more precious and heartwarming than the innocence of a child. The majority of parents in society want to shield children from the bad in life which is appreciated. Within human nature exists desires of inappropriate behavior; envy, deceit, selfishness, revenge, violence, assault and murder. The most well-known fairy tales depict virtue and the evil in life. Even more important, the form and structure of fairy tales suggest images to the child by which he can structure his daydreams and with them give a better direction to his life. (Bettelheim).
The story of Cinderella has become a classic fairy tale, known around the world, and past down from generation to generation. Yet, over the years, the story has been rewritten to better relate to different cultures. While some things never change, authors still manage to convey different messages by making the story their own. This can be clearly seen when the Grimm brothers version of Cinderella is compared to Charles Perrault’s version of Cinderella. While the core of the story does not change, the moral, tone, and “magical” aspects of the two stories are clearly shaped by the different cultures in which they were written in.
Reading fairy tales or seeing them represented has become part of an everyday routine for children. As Baker-Sperry states, “Through interaction that occurs within everyday routines (Corsaro 1997), children are able to learn the rules of the social group in which they are a part” (Baker-Sperry 717-718). For example, through Red Riding Hood, children learn to listen to their parents and to be wary of strangers. Some of these messages are harmful though; not all girls have to be naive and weak while boys are predacious wolves. Not everyone has to play the role that society assigns them.
Another way that these tales make women accept violence is by making them as desperate as a person could possibly look. The fairy tale does it in two different ways, secretively and blatantly. They show desperation with Cinderella when show will do anything to go to the ball. It would have been a more effective form of desperation if she did not have all the birds in the world helping her. She would of done it herself it would of made her able to go. Making women look desperate is apparently what this society is going for. When women are desperate, they will do anything, which is what the poem is trying to subliminally work into women's heads. The obvious way that the poem did this was with the stepsisters and the amputations of feet parts to be with a guy, if that does not say desperate, what cruel
Fairy tales make an important part of cultural prophecy, because they contain wisdom which is passed from parents to their children. They contain basic moral and ethical guidelines for children. Images and symbols used in fairy tales can help to judge about cultural, ethical, social and moral values popular in the contemporary society. Changes and similarities, which can be found in the popular fairy tale Cinderella by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, version of 1812 and the Disney version of Cinderella (2015), can help to realize the changes in cultures and historical epochs.
Some stories have been told for hundreds of years, and they are constantly reinterpreted to fit the current social norms and values. Two of the best known stories today are Disney's Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, and they are in part responsible for the widespread view that children's stories are frivolous and lack dept. Of course learning to see the beauty inside (Disney, 1991), and believing that being good and doing the right thing will ultimately be rewarded (Disney, 1950), are
Cinderella is a fairytale for children that displayed love, loss and miracles; however, when it is further analyzed, it has a deeper meaning. Cinderella is a story about a young girl who became a servant in her own home after her father remarried a malicious woman with two spoiled daughters. She was humiliated and abused yet she remained gentle and kind. She received help from her fairy godmother to go to the prince’s ball after her stepmother rejected her proposal. Cinderella and the Prince fell madly in love but she had to leave at twelve o’clock and forgot to tell him her name but she left her glass slipper behind. He sent his servants to find her and Cinderella was the only maiden in the kingdom to fit into the shoes. She
With the power the step-mother has obtained, she utilizes it in order to oppress Cinderella as she is forced to become a maid within her own place of dwelling. For this reason, it causes Cinderella to become apart of an inferior level. Cinderella continues to stay passive and an inactive contributor within her life. Not resorting to the chance of rebelling or escaping the unfortunate situation. But even so, some may insist upon her attempting to break free as a form of escaping, yet she does not use it for instead she choses to wait in order to be saved. In view of that, Cinderella is presented as a goodhearted, but submissive character in need of rescuing. Above all, both the step-mother and Cinderella are seen as stereotypical characters. In fact the step-mother is showcased to hold great power, thus being a vision of dark evil ways. Much less, Cinderella and her character is not endowed with any power whatsoever, thus being looked upon as a good hearts and beautiful person inside and out. Accordingly this represents the message of female characters and power relationships between them. Being that those with power are seen as evil, while on the other hand those who have no power are meant to be good. Therefore a happy ending is give to those powerless, instead of female individuals with
When someone mentions the name “Cinderella”, the first thing that usually comes to our minds is the fairytale in which the fair maiden who works so hard yet it treated so poorly gains her “fairytale ending” with a wave of a magic wand. However, the fairytale of Cinderella written by the Grimm Brothers has multiple differences in plot from the fairytale we all usually think of. The plot of the Cinderella written by the Grimm Brothers, written in 1812, is that a young female’s mother passes away early in the story, departing with the message to Cinderella to remain “pious and good”. Cinderella remained true to this message given to her by her mother, and she showed this in her work ethic. Because Cinderella had remained pious and good, her mother, in return, watched over her in the form of the birds above her grave that gave Cinderella help and material things that she needed. In the end, Cinderella has her “happily ever after”, for when the prince held a festival to find a new bride, she was chosen due to her insurmountable beauty. The feminist lens critiques how females are commonly represented in texts, and how insufficient these representations are as a categorizing device. These representations of women often include them being passive and emotional—staying back while the men do the work. Cinderella relates to the feminist lens because she fits into the typical representations of women created by men. Feminist criticism is important to recognize because women are often falsely represented as helpless, thus needing a man to come to their rescue. It is common in literature to see helpless women, crying and begging for help instead of being able to work out their own problems and hardships. Others, however, may believe that it is still important to uphold the fundamentals of the feminist lens because it keeps the man in power, which they say is important in keeping the man the head of the household. Cinderella thoroughly represents the feminist lens because it shows how women in literature uphold the representations of passive and emotional, created by the man.
Once upon a time in a land not so far away, the society of man created the idea that it was a woman’s job to conform to the ideologies generated in fairy tales. From women depending on their prince charmings all the way to romanticized sexual abuse and lack of consent, stories like Cinderella and Snow White radiate sexism within an array of scenes of the stories and films. Not only does this affect the way that men view women, but it has had a relatively negative effect on the ways that many women view themselves. Many fairy tales have made their way into mainstream culture, and today many young girls and boys grow up hearing and seeing the subliminal messages in fairy tales. As more and more fairy tales make their way onto the big screen, it can be seen that all princesses seem to share a common feature other than their crowns and lack of self worth without a man by their side; their tiny waists. In recent years during the 21st century more and more people in the media have been calling out fairy tales for their anti-feminist attitudes with sexism, body standards as well as societal comments about women being dependent on men.
“Once Upon a Time” and “Happily Ever After” have taken on a life of their own, independent from the stories in which they were written. Beloved by children and adults alike, these stories have been passed down over multiple generations. Along with these stories come morals, values, and stereotypes. A prevalent stereotype found in fairy tales deals with genders and their norms and children in their early developmental years are exposed to these gender stereotypes. These are used as a tool to help children develop their gender identity. As they endure over time, fairy tales continue to teach gender stereotypes and this perpetuates our society’s current beliefs of gender.