Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Fairy Tale Review: C is for 'Cinderella' (atozchallenge)

A young girl whose mother dies and whose father marries another; a stepmother who mistreats the girl and makes her work as a servant in the family's wealthy household while her two stepsisters are lavished with gifts and other luxuries; and a fairy godmother who steps in to save the day when all seems lost: welcome to Cinderella, otherwise known as The Little Glass Slipper:)

What to say about Charles Perrault's famous tale? It reads as wonderfully as it always did, for one. The language is lovely, descriptive and clever (I'm reading Andrew Lang's version in his Blue Fairy Book btw), and the characterisation of Cinderella's plight is drawn as wretchedly as one could hope:) Who couldn't feel moved by her story? Or cheer when her fairy godmother uses her powers to ensure Cinderella attends the ball, charms her Prince and - despite having to endure that awful nightmare that teenagers everywhere must curse: a curfew of, in her case, midnight - wins the Prince's hand in marriage. Hey, it's not my fault these fairy tales are so obsessed with marriage...:)

It is definitely a romantic tale though, this one:) Sighhh...:) And that scene right at the end - you know, the one where Cinderella slides her foot into the glass slipper left behind at the ball - has surely become iconic.

It's not as easy as I'd thought it would be to review a story I enjoy reading so much. I just love, love, love this tale. The imagery in Cinderella is one of the best things about it. Perrault has written his story in such a way that every magical moment becomes one which aids a reader's imagination to grow: a scooped-out pumpkin becomes a carriage, grey mice become six dappled horses and a rat with a large beard becomes a whiskered, jolly coachman. Lizards are surely liveried coachmen the moment one's back is turned (or once wand is waved), and what befits a jewelled gown more than a certain pair of little glass slippers!

I would have liked to be a bystander in this fictional story, watching Cinderella's godmother work her magic with such (it seemed to me anyway) tasteful elegance. Sure'd beat making imaginary shapes out of fat clouds during free minutes in the day anyway:)

Things that surprised me about Cinderella.... Not the magic obviously. I was surprised to be reminded that Cinderella's real father was alive and well while her stepmother was mistreating her, just strangely ignorant of what was happening right under his very nose (how he could not notice a cinder-covered daughter hanging around by the fireplace every odd moment is what I want to know!). Oh, and I'd forgotten that her illustrious nickname was given to her by her younger, kinder stepsister: she was originally called 'Cinderwench' by the elder.

That the King's son was more enamoured by Cinderella's beauty than anything else was a foregone conclusion, but it did make me feel a little disappointed; I blame my disappointment on Drew Barrymore's wonderful big screen adaptation Ever After, a movie which turns the traditional tale on its head in just the right way, and which I recommend without reservation to anyone who's yet to watch it.

Last but not least, that glass slipper... The benefits of being able to fit into dainty glass slippers were never made more obvious to me than they were today. It was quite lowering. Yes, in case you're wondering, my feet are not exactly 'dainty' lol...:)

Okay, I'm waffling on now, aren't I? This is the result of me staying up well past my usual bedtime:) I guess I'd better turn in now. Writing about Cinderella's been a pleasure and I've no doubt I'll be sleeping very well tonight - pumpkins and glass slippers continue to play about in my mind's eye as I type this:) Can't wait to write the post for alphabet 'D'. Can you guess what fairy tale I intend to feature tomorrow? I'm already excited thinking about it, and I'm sure you'll enjoy the coming post!:)

Cheers, folks, and goodnight:)

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Adrianne Russell said...

I always wondered how anyone walked around on glass shoes! I learned a lot from this post.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I have no desire to fit into glass shoes!! Not flattering nor comfy. ;-p

You know, I haven't read the original tale. Or if I did, I don't remember it, and it has been a long time. I didn't realize the younger sister was kinder, as what they show in the Barrymore film (love that movie, btw!)

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Damyanti said...

A lot of depth in a fairytale---thanks for sharing this!

--Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Stephanie Allen said...

Nice post! I have Cinderella on my Kindle but haven't read it yet...I guess I need to soon!

Isabella Amaris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isabella Amaris said...

Thanks for all your comments everyone:) For anyone whose blog I haven't visited yet, I might take a while, but I'll definitely drop by:) Glad you liked the post:)

Francene said...

I know what you mean by the size of ones feet. We shouldn't be judged that way. That's a spoiler for me in the otherwise happy ever after story. Discrimination against Bigfoot.

Isabella Amaris said...

I hear 'ya, Francene:) Thanks for your comment:)