Fairy Tale Discussions: Cinderella
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Author:  avonleastories95 [ Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:10 am ]
Post subject:  Fairy Tale Discussions: Cinderella

It is probably the most famous of the Fairy Tales, and over 700 versions of this classic have been written. This is where you express your thoughts about the Classic Fairy Tale, Cinderella. I personally love this story! I like it because it is a story that tells you if you give generously, you will be rewarded. I can't wait to hear your thoughts about this!

Author:  Lazario [ Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:36 am ]
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Some fun facts from Wiki:

Another well-known version was recorded by the German brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the 19th century. The tale is called "Aschenputtel" ("Cinderella" in English translations) and the help comes not from a fairy-godmother but the wishing tree that grows on her mother's grave. In this version, the stepsisters try to trick the prince by cutting off parts of their feet in order to get the slipper to fit. The prince is alerted by two pigeons who peck out the stepsisters' eyes, thus sealing their fate as blind beggars for the rest of their lives. In this story, the prince is tricked twice but is spared by the birds. This lowers the Prince's status and he seems less heroic, raising Cinderella's status as a strong-willed individual.

Author:  Escapay [ Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:13 pm ]
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I like the versatility of the story. It can be adaptable to any culture, and it more or less has been as various cultures have their own version of the tale. At the heart of every "Cinderella" is that very basic premise: a young woman is transformed and she finds love. Never mind the mice or the fairy godmother or the evil stepfamily. Every "Cinderella" is about overcoming obstacles, be it through a physical or personal transformation, and being rewarded for your determination.

Like the movie Sabrina (1954, dir. Billy Wilder, starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, & William Holden). It's all about how a young girl is transformed (she goes away to Paris for a few years to study) and falls in love. Unlike Cinderella, there are two suitors for her, and ultimately Sabrina realizes which one she truly loves...just as he realizes it as well.

One of the movie channels was playing Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister a month ago. Kram and I were watching it, and we couldn't believe how uninteresting the movie was. The story is intriguing and they had several great actors (Jonathan Pryce Stockard Channing, Azuara Skye, and Matthew Goode in his first major role), but the movie simply wasn't as good as we remembered it to be. Oh well, I guess that's what happens when there's 8 years between viewings and you build it up in your head to be better than you remember.


Author:  Wonderlicious [ Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:54 am ]
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I'm surprised Duster hasn't posted here, to be quite honest. :p

I agree with Escapay that the best thing about the story is its simple yet resonant message, so versatile that any rendering of it can be easily accepted. If you were to strip any version of the story to its bare bones, you could easily retell it to one's own liking while still giving the same overall message: if you're poor and downtrodden, be good and keep holding on, as that ticket to a happy ending may just be around the corner. In this regard, it's a great fairy tale.

Author:  Lazario [ Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:05 am ]
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Wonderlicious wrote:
I'm surprised Duster hasn't posted here, to be quite honest. :p

Maybe he's only interested in Disney's telling of it...

Author:  Disney's Divinity [ Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:50 pm ]
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I've always found the universality of the Cinderella theme bizarre. Just because, cultural ideals have been so different from each other in places, that you would think this kind of moving-above-your-station idea would be looked down upon by some societies. :? That's the main reason I've always understood why it was considered such an "American" story. But I guess everyone low on the social ladder dreams about being more than they are, American or not. Of course, the US version of a Cinderella story would probably end up with riches, fame, celebrity, etc.

Of course, I don't mean to strip the story down to that; there are a lot of great things about the various interpretations of the story. I haven't read the Perrault version (I'm not sure if I have a book of Perrault or not), but I have read the Grimm version. My favorite part of their version was always the way the dress falls from the willow over her mother's grave. I just always liked the way it seemed that her mother took care of her beyond the grave, and also there's that mother-daughter relationship that's so rare for some reason. You usually only get the evil (step)mother.

Author:  Disney Duster [ Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Fairy Tale Discussions: Cinderella

Oh, I am certainly interested in all versions of Cinderella. From my youngest years it has always been my favorite fairy tale. I think that it was after I saw Disney's version, I loved the story and wanted to check out the other versions when I saw them, and I always enjoyed them.

However, I always wondered if I would ever find a version I liked more than/thought was better than the Disney version, and I never did. Also, for a while recently I wondered if The Little Mermaid might be my favorite fairy tale, after reading the original, but there was no question what my favorite movie would always be, Walt Disney's Cinderella. And that film is still my favorite, so that is a testament to the film's greatness and belovedness, though the fairy tale itself has also, I decided, remained my favorite.

There is definately more to the story than just being versatile, I love most the versions that we know to be "Cinderella" specifically, the Perrault and Grimm one. Though, because of the name "Cendrillon" and it's iconicness to me and what I suspect is also to most people, I find the Perrault one to be the "Cinderella", though I suppose it could also be the earliest known written version, "Cenerentola", from which the Perrault and Grimm versions seem to come from, or are at least closest to. I also consider the Disney version as the true version in a way.

Of course the earliest, earliest known version of the story seems to be from Ancient Greece/Egypt (doesn't it seem those Greeks just pre-empted everything?), but I actually had a discussion with UmbrellaFish about this topic:

Okay...I searched and could not find what I originally found, which was the supposed date that the Chinese version of Cinderella, of which I am not even sure what the right name is, "Yeh-Shen" or something else, was written. Not that that might matter as that same Chinese version was probably told orally before that, but I'm trying to find out if the Greek-Egyptian version called "Rhodopis" came before the Chinese version.

Can anyone help me with that? Can anyone find when each was written, and which came first?

Rhodopis was actually a real person, a slave, but the story written says her golden slipper was taken by an eagle to the king, and he went to find who owned it. The eagle may have been a god and the slippers may have been given to the slave by her master because she danced so beautifully.

So anyway, the Greek "Rhodopis" version probably came first, then the Chinese "Yeh-Shen" version, and then came the version that is most like the Cinderella we know today, and the version I'd consider actually is Cinderella, the Italian "Cenerentola" by Giambattista Basile. This version is considered the earliest recorded version of the Cinderella we know and was recorded in a collection of stories in 1634, but I think it was published in 1674.

In this version, a dove comes to the heroine's window and tells her that if she wishes for anything, to send for the dove of the Sardinian fairies and she will have her wish. When her father goes on a trip to Sardinia, he goes to the fairies' grotto and gives his daughter's greeting and a fairy comes out and gives him a date tree for his daughter. Cenerentola plants the tree and the fairy comes out and gives her all the dresses and horses and carriages for the ball on it's three nights.

Now, many people think the Grimm Brothers' version of Cinderella is the original one, and that it's the most true one, and I had also thought that the Grimm Brothers' one might be because Cinderella's dead mother helping her magically made more sense to me than a fairy godmother who doesn't shown up until one night, but here you can see the earliest version is really Cenerentola, and Perrault's fairy godmother and the Grimm's magic tree seem to both come from that version.

So after Cenerentola, actually before the Grimm's, came the version by French intellectual Charles Perrault in 1697, "Cendrillon". The German Grimm Brothers published their version, "Aschenputtel" in 1812. However, it is very possible that the Grimms, who were recording the stories as a way of collecting their own German history and culture, may have heard versions of the story that were much closer to how the original, original Cinderella was, but we cannot know that. Besides, the Grimm's even changed a little bit of the stories to make them more Christianly acceptable, if not other things.

Now, it has been said, including Lazario's first post in here, that the heroine of the Grimm's version is more strong and taking action in her happiness than the Perrault version, and the Disney version based upon the Perrault version.

Well, the Grimm's version I find to be a little weird, because the way Cinderella takes action is through what seems to be magical means, planting a tree that magically gives her the clothes she needs, and calling on birds to help her with her chores in order to go to the ball. I also found it weird that Cinderella had a tree that gave her anything but she couldn't use it to make herself happier in her situation or just completely fix her situation already, but then again the story never says she didn't use the tree to amuse herself and be happy when she wasn't doing chores, and I guess she couldn't exactly ask the tree to make her family nice to her or give her a whole new place to live.

But maybe the Grimm's Cinderella was using the power of God and heaven to get what she wanted, because her mother told her that God and her spirit would help her, so maybe this is why Cinderella thought of planting the tree and calling the birds, so in that way it makes more sense.

However, in the French version it is very possible if translations are to be read correctly that the heroine leaves her slipper behind on purpose so the Prince will find her and marry her. Still, this actually is the heroine who waits around the for something to happen to her the most, but only if we disregard that this Cinderella actually seems to want her stepsisters to love her, and so her happiness seems to actually come from being with them, so maybe she thought her being good to them would get her what she really wanted, and that is taking action.

Disney's version may cover all these things. It is already clear to me that the Disney version uses both the French and German versions. Yes, most things are from the French, but the birds helping Cinderella and the wickedness of the stepmother who makes her do chores so she can't go to the ball when she asks to seem clearly to me from the German version, among other small things. Cinderella asking to go to the ball, and getting certain conditions to do it, as well as possibly using the power of God or heaven with her faith and believing, as well as being good, covers the Grimm's version of Cinderella as far as being active to get her happiness. The French idea of being good to get what you want, and possibly to get love from her stepfamily (if more so her stepmother) is also covered by Disney's Cinderella as far as activism to get what she wants. But the Disney version does everything the most practically and dare I say realistically. It is also in this way that the fairy godmother doesn't come out of nowhere but out of Cinderella's faith in fate's/heaven's power/help, for in the Disney version the godmother comes out of the air around Cinderella or heaven because of this. God and godmother.

Also, I would say that Perrault's version was perhaps the first or only one to add in Cinderella's character a good bit of wit and humor and personality, as part of his own witty writing of the tale, more so than any other version, including the Grimm's version, at least as far as I know. It is something which is also kept in the Disney version. Though perhaps all these points are debatable.

It seems the Grimm Brothers actually added in the violence on the stepsisters, as punishment for their wickedness, possibly from their Christian values. I don't like that, but I do like a lot of other things about the Grimm version, yet if I had to pick I would pick the Perrault version as my favorite written version, and the Disney version as my favorite version period. But instead of the stepsisters getting so horribly punished in the Grimm version or left alone in the Disney version, the French version has Cinderella love and forgive her stepsistsers, who love her back in the end, and I like that a lot, and it certainly makes Cinderella seem even more kind a character, and more deserving of her rewards.

Some weird things and questions are brought up about the tale, especially in the Grimm's version, but one big question is why does Cinderella run away from the Prince, especially in the Grimm's version? It seems there's many good reasons for the Perrault and Disney version, as the magic ends and Cinderella could be afraid of the Prince seeing the magic, seeing her as a ragged servant, or being at the ball in such a way in general, but the Grimm's Cinderella doesn't have to leave, she chooses to.

My guess is that Cinderella may have wanted the Prince to say he would marry her before she stayed with him, to be sure he wanted her and would not cast her away if he knew who she really was. It is also possible she didn't think of this at all and just wanted to leave, but the prospect of marriage made her want to be with him. These reasons could actually be applied to the Perrault and Disney versions as well. In both those versions the Prince makes a royal command he will marry her, so in a way there might be no turning back at that point and Cinderella has him and her security even if he doesn't like what he finds out about her.

Also, in the Grimm and Perrault versions, though mostly the Grimm's where Cinderella escapes the prince three times, she could be leading the prince on and trying to make him want her more and more, so he finally needs to have her and marry her. I guess this could happen in the Disney version, too, even just after one night, it could be what makes him decide to marry her.

As for the messages and morals of these tales, I read one site say that the Grimm Brothers' version, and by extent I guess other "closer to the original" (supposedly) versions of the tale had deeper metaphorical messages, especially of empowerement, and that they were more for teaching about and exploring life than entertainment, but that the Perrault and Disney versions were more for entertainment. This seems to be popular opinion with a lot of people. Here's a link to the site I read. It also speaks of Cinderella having intuition, which many people including I think Disney's Cinderella has, but anyway...

However, Perrault himself inserted morals into his tales, or simply revealed what the original morals inherently in the stories were (as he felt they were) that he spoke about at the end of each story, that did teach about life, or give advice for life.

I have found some sites say that Cinderella was deformed in the Grimm's version, but her gown made her very beautiful, and this was about inner beauty. Well, I have not found any version of the Grimm's where it says Cinderella was deformed to describe her by the omniscient narrator in the beginning of the story or anywhere in the story. However, in the end of the story, the Prince calls for the last maiden left in the house to try on the slipper and Cinderella's father says something that has been translated as calling her either "deformed" or "stunted". Well, maybe she's just small, I mean it was about her having small feet, wasn't it? Also, her father could just be calling her that as an insult, as he is saying it in a mean way, because he loves his new wife and children more than Cinderella, for who knows why, perhaps the stepmother kind of forces him. He could even just be saying it because as a dirty, ragged, downtrodden girl she does look deformed and he may even say it just because his new wife turned her that way and that's how he thinks of her now. Also, in the Greek-Egyptian version, Rhodopis, I heard at least one version say, the girl was made fun of for having lighter skin than the other girls, a form of racism and not considering a certain look to be beautiful, but later the heroine gets recognized for the greater person she is.

But every version, including Perrault's, still has the same thing: A girl is cast as a dirty, lowly, perhaps "ugly" unworthy person, but later, everyone realizes her true good worth.

I admit that if the heroine really was deformed or ugly, then became beautiful by magic, and then was shown as her true self later but was appreciated for her inner beauty/goodness, that would be wonderful, and perhaps the best way. But one of the same sites talking about this said Cinderella's outer beauty comes from her inner beauty, and I must point out that that is exactly what the Perrault version, and then the Disney version, could be saying. The outer beauty of the heroine may be a metaphor for her inner beauty.

Perrault's moral at the end of the story may even indicate this more, but I am not sure, especially since there are multiple translations. His "Cendrillon" actually came with two morals, the first being about the beauty thing, essentially saying kindness and goodness are best, and the other is that you may need the blessing/help of a godmother, or a friend. I really am not sure which translation of the morals is right, but these morals are kept very well by Disney's version if you consider Cinderella's kindness and goodness won all the good that came to her, and that her friends and godmother also brought it to her.

Adding to this, I would say that at least one of the messages of both the French Cinderella and the French Beauty and the Beast says "Inner beauty gets you outer beauty", taken in all ways, and thus maybe this message is a French thing.

Cinderella, also being the most known story all around the world for the longest time (though Beauty and the Beast may even be a rival in that), has also been the most looked at, critically. And so it has been criticized from being too simple or superficial to being sexist against women.

Yet I say at Cinderella's heart is a story where people say the heroine wasn't worthy as them, but the heroine believed she was and dreamed she was. Then everyone saw that she was, or was even better than them, especially for being so good and kind. It is a story about equality and being treated well, being treated like you should be. Even one of Disney's Cinderella's better lines is "I'm still a member of the family."

I suppose the big problem left is that people think Cinderella needed to show everyone she was worthy all by herself, but consider that she tried and yet people still treated her like crap. Sometimes it takes someone else to say, "Hey, she's right, she is special. Here, see" after she tried.

And finally, as I said in The Little Mermaid thread, fairy tales have to do with real life. I think there have been times I felt like Cinderella, I know there have been countless times I wanted to be like Cinderella, but I can at least recall a recent time where a talked to a boy I thought was cute, we had a deep conversation and I really started to get feelings for him, but then he went to the movies with his friends and who were kind of my friends but they went without me and didn't invite me. My prince and my stepsisters to the ball without me. I sat on a bench and almost cried. I knew a little more about Cinderella's pain. It is more hurtful than it sounds. You know it more when it happens to you.

Well, that's all I'm going to say for now.

Author:  Disney Duster [ Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fairy Tale Discussions: Cinderella


This was awesome! And it's so great to know Cinderella's glass shoes really could work! But I bet they would have worked better if they actually were the girl tester's size.

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