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Phillip Lane

Literature 112L

April 21st, 2016

The Broken Glass Slipper

The story of Cinderella has been passed down by multiple generations. Disney has

warped it into a very positive and idealistic message for young girls. The girl meets her prince

and they live happily ever. That is what happens in reality, right? Wrong. The original Cinderella

story was a dark and morbid tale told by the Brothers Grimm. Brothers Grimm, German Brder

Grimm, German folklorists and linguists best known for their Kinder- und Hausmrchen (1812

22; also called Grimms Fairy Tales), which led to the birth of the modern study folklore. Jacob

Ludwig Carl Grimm (b. January 4, 1785, Hanau, Hesse-Kassel [Germany]d. September 20,

1863, Berlin) and Wilhelm Carl Grimm (b. February 24, 1786, Hanau, Hesse-Kassel [Germany]

d. December 16, 1859, Berlin) together compiled other collections of folk music and folk

literature, and Jacob in particular did important work in historical linguistics and Germanic

philology, which included the formulation of Grimms law. They were among the most

important German scholars of their time.(Rahmawati) Cinderella was a sweet girl whos family

constantly tried to break her mentality by giving her a number of ridiculous tasks. She felt

excluded and scared most of the time. I feel that Cinderella not only shows a darker version of

the story, but a more realistic version.

In our society today, many people have an idea of what the Cinderella story is, but

unfortunately, they do not know everything. Disney ends the story by acting as if the the glass

slipper simply did not fit the evil step sisters, however the brothers Grimm take a different

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perspective on it. One step sister cuts off her heel to make the shoe fit. With blood everywhere, it

is certain that she is not the right one. The wicked step mother then tells the other sister to cut her

toe off to make the shoe fit. Obviously, the result is the same. It is not until the Prince gets to

Cinderella until he finds the perfect fit. The story ends with Cinderellas wedding where the two

wicked step sisters get their eyes plucked out by pigeons for the evil mistakes they have made.

There is an underlying theory in Cinderella that many people fail to grasp the concept of.

This theory suggests that Cinderella is indeed a witch. This relates back to the Salem Witch

Trials that took place between 1692 and 1693. The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial

Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing

witchcraftthe Devil's magicand 20 were executed. Eventually, the colony admitted the

trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted. A witch was a person

who had a close relationship with spirits, aka the fairies, which Cinderella has. In the 1812

version of the story published by the Grimm Brothers Cinderella's stepsisters torment her by

demanding that she sort various seeds, the good from the bad. Of course the only way she's able

to do this is through the help of two birds with whom she can speak.

Birds in the lore of ancient Europe were often used as forms for the spirits of the dead and or as

familiar spirits, that is as stand ins for the fairies. So like the shamans of Europe's past Cinderella

has two helping spirits, in the form of birds. Later when these birds ask Cinderella if she wants to

go to a ball the following takes place;

"Oh, my goodness," she said, "how could I go in these dirty clothes?"

"Just go to the little tree on your mother's grave, shake it, and wish yourself some beautiful

clothes. But come back before midnight."

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So Cinderella went and shook the little tree, and said:

Shake yourself, shake yourself, little tree.

Throw some nice clothing down to me! (Shire, Raven)

This story was perfect for this unit because it grabbed the attention of many students

in the class. They figured it would be just like the original however, it was realized that it was

nowhere near what they expected. I feel this story should be advertised more prior to a college

literature course.

Works Cited
Grimm, http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm021.html

http://www.shmoop.com/grimms-fairy-tales/cinderella.html

Shire, Celeste, http://fairies.zeluna.net/2013/11/cinderella-was-witch-and-friend-to.html (Nov. 03


2013)

Rahmawati, Rizki, http://rizkirahmawati92.blogspot.com/2012/10/v-


behaviorurldefaultvmlo.html