After seeing the Cinderella live action film, I wanted to read the original story of Cinderella. Surprisingly, the very first recorded version of Cinderella was written in China. You can read it here. There are also 3 most well known versions including the Brothers Grimm one. It was first introduced to Europe with Basile’s Cinderella, and then the Disney movie was based off of Perault’s Cinderella. You can read both here. And, of course, you have the Brother’s Grimm version, which is definitely the most gruesome one.
As a comparison of the original Cinderellas and the 2015 movie, it definitely follows the Grimms version with touches of Perault’s version. I really appreciated the fact that the movie didn’t try and “modernize” Cinderella where she would have sassy one-liners and be a “kickbutt” female character. The portrayal of psychological abuse in this movie was surprisingly very well done. I can actually see how Cinderella became subject to her stepmother’s torment and how the abuse turned into a normal thing. I just thought it gave a lot more depth to her character and to the story than if Cinderella simply accepted this cruelty. I really like what how they developed her character. Cinderella thought of herself as less and less worthy throughout the movie especially when she was simply hoping to go to the ball to meet a friend instead of wishing to meet the prince but she came to realize she deserved a lot more than what she got.
Personally, and this pertains to the canon and the movie, I appreciate the fact that she is kind amidst cruelty and has courage when there was no one there to support her and believe me, I know it takes a lot of willpower to have those two traits when you’re in the situation she is in, but if I’m still seeing Cinderella as not a tale of abuse but a tale of a girl being kind and getting what she wants in the end, it’s kind of a double-edged sword. She is kind and then she gets a fairy godmother who grants her wish of going to the ball. The fairy godmother doesn’t appear in all versions of the story, but it is at Cinderella’s lowest point when something magical happens and her dreams are fulfilled but in reality, that’s just not true. If I’m using this as a basis of inspiration for young girls, Cinderella is telling me to endure, to wait, to adapt until something comes along (and supposedly it will assuming that I am kind). It is saying that good things come to those who wait. And to the girls in abusive relationships, maybe they think they’ll get their happy ending if only they stick around a little longer, but that’s a very damaging position to be in. If you look at the underdogs in classic stories or even in fairytales. The boy is usually the lowly farmhand or something like that who goes on an adventure to prove himself. In the earlier stories, girls don’t usually get the chance to “prove” themselves, something good happens to them because they are kind-hearted but the rewards do not directly come from their kindheartedness.
What did you think of the movie? What are your thoughts on Cinderella as a character? Let me know in the comments!