Unlike any other form of literature or entertainment, Fairy Tales help children to discover their identity and suggest experiences needed to develop their character. In Bruno Bettelheim’s “Life Divined from the Inside” Bettelheim states that “Fairy Tales intimate that a rewarding, good life is within one’s reach despite adversity-but only if one does not shy away from the hazardous struggles without which one can never achieve true identity (Bettelheim 106).
Anne Sexton’s “Cinderella” is a perfect example of Bettelheim’s definition of a Fairy Tale. The story of Cinderella is a classic story that has had many different versions. Anne Sexton’s version, begins as Cinderella’s mother is on her death bed. She is telling Cinderella to “Be Devout.
Be Good. Then I will smile down from heaven in the seam of a cloud.” (Sexton 85) With the death of Cinderella’s mother, we get Bettelheim’s first example of a Fairy Tale; adversity for Cinderella. As the story goes on, Cinderella’s father marries another woman. She has two daughters, making a family of five. Cinderella’s father dies, leaving Cinderella’s stepmother in charge of Cinderella and the family. With the loss of her father, it’s seem that all Cinderella can face is adversity.
"ARGH! I'm going to get you, you little brat!" screamed Taylor, a 14 year old native of Calgary, Alberta. Taylor whizzed around the corner to beat up her little brother Jay. "Ha! I got you Boomer!" exclaimed Taylor. "I'm gonna tell mom and your gonna be in trouble ! he he." replied Jay. As soon as Jay made that remark Taylor let him free. Jay knew that saying that he'll tell on her would convince ...
Cinderella became her stepmother and stepsisters maid; but kept her chin up. She tried to lead a good life, but faced so much adversity with her family. They made her sleep on the sooty hearth every night; which made her look like Al Jolson during the daytime. Cinderella’s family troubles vary from the different versions that are told, but one trouble that doesn’t change, is Cinderella’s stepmother didn’t want her to go to the Prince’s ball. The Ball was for the prince to find a bride, and although Cinderella begged her stepmother to let her go, she wasn’t allowed. Bettelheim must agree with all this adversity that Cinderella is facing.
Later, her stepmother threw a dish of food into the fire and told her that if in an hour she had picked them up, she could go. Even though the Birds came and picked up the food, Cinderella’s stepmother still said no. Her stepmother’s reasoning for not letting her go was that she had no clothes and that could not dance. It’s hard not to see how hard Cinderella is trying to lead a good life, although she faces so much adversity. Bettelheim might also agree. As the old saying goes “The good guy always wins”; Cinderella ends up going to the prince’s ball and is the only girl he dances with all night.
For three nights the Prince walked Cinderella home, and she would disappear. However, on the third day the prince caught Cinderella’s shoe by putting wax on the steps. He gets the shoe and tries to find her. He goes to Cinderella’s house to try to find her, and her step sisters try on the shoe with no avail. Finally, Cinderella tried on the shoe and it was a perfect fit. Now that the Prince had found his princess, they decided to get married.
“Cinderella and the Prince lived, they say, happily ever after… .” (Sexton 87) So, Bettelheim’s definition of a Fairy Tale now has an excellent example, Anne Sexton’s “Cinderella.” Cinderella faced so much adversity and countless struggles, which proves Bettelheim’s definition. “Cinderella” by Anne Sexton is a wonderful telling of a classic story, which gives some insight to the reality of finding your true identity, as Cinderella did when she became a Princess. Works Cited Bettelheim, Bruno. “Life Divined From The Inside” Rites of Passage Ed. Judie Rae and Catherine Fraga United States: Heinle & Heinle Thomson Learning, 2002 Sexton, Anne.
When most people think of the movie, Cinderella, they think of the animated Disney version with the little mice and the happy ending where Cinderella marries the prince and they live happily ever after. While the movie Ever After is based on Cinderella, it is not animated, but still has many of the same characteristics as the Disney version. Of course it is not exactly the same, and since it is ...
“Cinderella” Rites of Passage Ed. Judie Rae and Catherine Fraga United States: Heinle & Heinle Thomson Learning, 2002.