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The Case of The Many Faces of Cinderella Jamie Jennings SLIS 5440 Summer II 2002
Description and Purpose: This is a Power. Point presentation which will examine ten different Cinderella stories from different cultures in the form of a F. T. A. (Fairy Tale Agency) case profile. The purpose of this project is to show that Cinderella is a familiar figure in many cultures. She or he in some cases, is a common thread we all share. I scoured the public library for these stories as well as my own personal collection.
Bibliographic Citations Climo, Shirley (1989). The Egyptian Cinderella. New York: Harper Collins. Story Synopsis: Rhodopis is stolen from Greece by pirates and sold as a slave in Egypt. Her master is very kind but old. He doesn’t see the cruel things the other servant girls do to her out of their jealousy. Rhodopis takes it in stride and is kind to everyone, including her animal friends. She is given a gift of red slippers by her master for her beautiful dancing. This makes the others more jealous. Rhodopis is uninvited to go with the rest of the servants to see the Pharoah. She was sad but she tried dancing to make herself feel better. A falcon sweeps down and takes one of her slippers and drops it into Pharoah’s lap. He decides he wants to marry the woman who wears this slippers and sets out to find her. Eventually, he comes to the house where Rhodopis is a servant, finds that it only fits her and makes her his queen.
Climo, Shirley. (1990). The Persian Cinderella. New York: Harper. Collins Publishers. Story Synopsis: Settareh lived with her step-mother, two stepsisters, three aunts and four female cousins. She hardly saw her father and everybody else ignored her. She had a star birthmark on her cheek that the sisters teased her about. She lived off of left-overs and cast-offs from her step-sisters. The girls are invited to the Prince’s palace. They are given money to buy cloth for the occasion. Settareh ends up buying food for herself and giving some away to a poor beggar. With what she has left, she buys a blue jug, which ends up being magical. Because she didn’t buy new cloth, she is unable to go to the celebration at the palace. In the end, the pot magically produces clothes and she is able to go. She enchants everyone but as she runs to escape, she drops an ankle bracelet. The Prince looks for her but her sisters have found out what happened and they broke the jar and made Settareh turn into a pigeon. In the end, the Prince is able to rescue Settareh from her sisters by recognizing her and taking out the magical pins that turned her into a pigeon. Coburn, Jewell Reinhart and Tzexa Cherta Lee (1996). Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella. Arcadia, CA: Shen’s Books. Story Synopsis: Jounanah is the daughter of a farmer whose mother is turned into a cow to help out the family. When the father takes a second wife, she tricks him into killing his first wife. The step-mother is jealous of Jounanah’s beauty and is cruel to her, making her do all the lowly chores. Jounanah is conforted by her mother’s spirit who gives her daughter beautiful clothes and slippers for a big festival. Everybody is astounded by her beauty. The Village’s Elder Son falls serenades her. Jounanah lives quickly when she realizes she needs to get home before her stepmother and step-sisters, but loses a shoe. The young man searches from village to village and finally finds Jounanah and they marry and move away.
Compton, Joanne (1994). Ashpet: An Appalachian Tale. New York: Holiday House. Story Synopsis: Ashpet lived in Eagle’s Nest Mountain was hired out to help the Widow Hooper and her two daughters. She was beautiful and she worked very hard doing the mending, cleaning, cooking and washing. The Widow and her daughters were very snobby and thought that they were better than Ashpet. When the fire in the fireplace goes out, they send Ashpet to get fire from Granny, who scared most people. Ashpet went and got the fire. She made friends with Granny. When Ashpet couldn’t go to the big church meeting, Granny came by the cabin and it shook itself clean and produced a new calico dress for Ashpet went and got the attention of the doctor’s son. They had a picnic but Ashpet had to leave so she could be home before midnight. She lost one of her new shoes in the process of leaving. The doctor’s son came to the cabin to have the females try on the shoe, but a crow took off it with and he chased it running into Ashpet who was wearing the other shoe. He paid the Widow for the rest of Ashpet’s service time and married Ashpet. Daly, Jude (2000). Fair, Brown and Trembling: An Irish Cinderella Story. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Story Synopsis: Trembling lives with her father and two sisters in a castle in Erin. Her sisters wear new dresses to church every Sunday but won’t allow Trembling to go for fear that she will marry before them because she is so beautiful. One day, a henwoman visits trembling and insists she go to church. She magically produces a beautiful dress and horse with the warning that she must never set foot into the church and ride as fast as the wind at the moment the services finish. Everybody in the church is awed by the woman in the doorway and they don’t know who she is. Trembling gets the attention of a Prince who waits outside and grabs a slipper as she rides off for home. The Prince has all the women in the area trying on the shoe and finally he goes to Trembling’s house. The Prince discovers Trembling hiding in a closet and he recognizes her as the mystery woman. After he wins battles with other princes for her hand, he marries her and has fourteen children. Her sisters are put out to sea.
Haddix, Margaret Peterson (1999). Just Ella. New York: Scholastic Inc. Story Synopsis: Ella goes to live in the castle in preparation for her wedding to the Prince. While she is there, she is given lessons on how to be a proper princess. She just wants to be Ella but she is not allowed to. When she is permitted to see the prince, she finds that they have nothing to talk about and that he loves her for her beauty. She becomes miserable at the palace until her tutor gets sick and his son takes over her lessons. . Ella and Jed become close friends and she reveals to him how she came to the ball that night. She finds herself falling in love with Jed. She refuses to marry the prince and she’s put in a dungeon. Eventually she escapes and runs away from the castle to avoid marrying the prince. In the end, one of her step-sisters ends up marrying the prince. Jed stays to help end the war but promises to come to Ella soon to be with her. Ella enjoys living on her own. She is studying medicine and is going to wait for Jed. She is happy being just Ella. Louie, Ai-Ling (1982). . Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China. New York: Philomel Books. Story Synopsis: Yeh-Shen’s father had two wives. Each wife gave him a daughter. Shortly after giving birth to Yeh-Shen, her mother dies and soon after her father. Her step-mother raises her and doesn’t like her because she is so kind and beautiful. . She gives her the hardest chores and feeds her little. Yeh-shen finds a friend in a fish by the pond. She feeds him and he grows enormous. Her step-mother finds out what has happened and she tricks the fish and kills him. Yeh-shen is devastated that her fish is gone. An old man tells her that the bones of the fish are magical and she should dig them up and tells them what her heart desires. Yeh-shen digs them up and tells the bones things such as she’s hungry and a meal appears. The time for a marriage festival comes around, but Yeh-Shen is not allowed to go because her step-mother is jealous of Yeh-Shen’s beauty. She tells the bones she would like to go and a beautiful outfit with gold slippers appears on Yeh-Shen. Everybody is astounded by her beauty. She leaves when her step-sister thinks she recognizes Yeh-Shen and in the process, she loses one of her slippers and her clothes become rags again. The slipper is found by a villager who sells it to the king. He decides to look everywhere for the owner of the slipper. All women, except Yeh-Shen go there to try it on. At night, Yeh-Shen goes to the pavilion to get it back. The king watches and realizes this is the beauty at the festival. His men follow her home and she puts on the slippers and she is once again transformed. The king marries her and her stepmother and step-sister were killed by a shower of stones.
Martin, Rafe (1992). The Rough-Face Girl. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons. Story Synopsis: Everybody in the village wanted to marry the Invisible Being who was rich, powerful and supposedly very handsome. But, the only person who could marry him was one who could see him. In this same village was a poor man and his three daughters. The two older daughters were mean and cruel to the youngest and made her tend to the fire, which scarred her face. One day, the two elder daughters demanded that their father give them new beads and clothes because they were going to go marry the Invisible Being. The father complied and the two girls went. The sister of the Invisible Being asked them what the Invisible Being’s bow was made of and the two sisters didn’t know and made it up. Because they didn’t know, the sister made the two sisters leave in disgrace for lying. The youngest sister, the Rough-faced girl, asked her father for beads and clothes, but he said all he had was his clothes from last year. She said whatever was fine and she left for the wigwam of the Invisible Being. People laughed and made fun of her. When she arrived, the sister asked her the same question but the Roughfaced girl answered it correctly. The sister knew she had seen him and she took her to the waters to bathe and the Rough-faced girl’s scars vanished and her hair became healthy again. She was then placed in the wife’s seat and she and the Invisible Being were married. Perrault, Charles (1989). Cinderella and Other Tales from Perrault. New York: Henry Holt and Company. Story Synopsis: Cinderella’s father married a mean and nasty wife with her own daughters. The step-mother didn’t like how sweet and beautiful Cinderella was so she made her do all of the menial jobs in the house. Cinderella never complained and liked to spend her time sitting down in the chimney corner. When the King’s son gave a ball, everybody went but Cinderella. She helped her sisters prepare and then cried because she wanted to go. Her fairy godmother helped her out by magically producing a carriage complete with horse and driver, dress and glass slippers. She set off to the ball and the King’s son fell in love with her beauty. They ate together but when the clock struck, she left. The next day, her sisters left to the ball again, as did Cinderella. This time she forgot the warning, and left when the clock was striking midnight. She fled the palace leaving her glass slipper. The Prince declared that whoever fit that shoe would be his princess. All tried it on, but it didn’t fit. Finally, Cinderella tried it on and put on the one she had. She married the Prince and forgave her sisters.
Silverman, Erica (1999). Raisel’s Riddle. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Story Synopsis: Raisel lives in Poland with her grandfather who is a scholar. When he gets sick an dies suddenly, Raisel sets out to find work. She stops at every house and is turned down. Finally, she comes to a big house and asks for work. At first, the manager of the household turns her down, but the Rabbi who lives there convinces the housekeeper to give Raisel a job. The housekeeper is mean to her and makes her do things over and over again. Raisel doesn’t say anything but keeps working hard and trying. The Purim feast begins and Raisel wishes she could go, but she is not allowed. As she carried her leftovers to eat that evening, a beggar woman sat down next to Raisel and Raisel gave her the plate of food. The woman told her that she would grant her three wishes for her kind heart. Raisel wished for a Purim costume and a horse-drawn wagon, and her wishes were granted. She went to the hall for the feast and everybody wondered who she was. The Rabbi’s son approached her and told her how beautiful she was. He asked where she lived but she told him a riddle instead. As the clock bonged, Raisel knew she had to leave to get back to clean the house. When she arrived she wished the kitchen spotless and it was. The next morning, the talk was of the girl and the riddle. The Rabbi’s son wanted to marry the girl who told him the riddle. Many women approached the son with the wrong riddle. Raisel wasn’t allowed to approach the son by the housekeeper. Finally, she banged on the door and told the Rabbi that she had told her son the riddle. She was allowed to come out and tell him the riddle and the Rabbi’s son and Raisel got married and lived happily ever after.
F. T. A. Files: Case # 333 – The Many Faces of Cinderella Case Status: Solved Lead Agent: Mr. Grimm
The Fairy Tale Agency (F. T. A) has been overwhelmed by the large number of Cinderella stories it has received from around the world. Lead Agent Grimm has carefully investigated analyzed ten of these stories. The findings are documented within this file. You will find information about each “Cinderella”, her story, as well as a cultural analysis on each story. A summary follows the presentation of the information. It is our intent to show that while each story shares similarities with the other stories, each one has its unique characteristics with its culture helping make it distinctly different. Cinderella, is an important figure in many cultures. We hope to educate you in the many faces of Cinderella. *This information has been made public by FTA Mandate #7*
Who is “Cinderella”? The F. T. A. has thoroughly investigated ten “Cinderella”s. The following ten slides will provide you with profiles of each girl. Interestingly enough, the F. T. A. found the following common strands: -Each one performed menial labor tasks (cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc. ) -Each one endured cruel punishments by jealous women and it caused isolation and loneliness -Each one was kind-hearted and sweet to all people -Each girl had a transformation -Every girl’s mother was either absent or dead -Each girl got her “prince”
Cinderella From: France (from Cinderella) Description: She was young and beautiful. She was sweet and kind. She didn’t complain. She did nice things for her sisters such as fixing their hair and picking out gowns even though they were mean to her and made jokes about her. She scrubs floors, cooks and cleans in her own home. Unique Characteristics: She liked to sit in the chimney among the cinders. Goals: To go to the ball Transformation: She is transformed by her fairy godmother into a beautiful princess. She’s a flat character in that “kind and beautiful” sum her up. She’s almost too kind and beautiful to be human.
Ella From: England (from Just Ella) Description: She is beautiful and young teenager (about 17). She’s clever, smart and resourceful (she made her own dress and had a glassblower make the glass shoes). She is kind to other people. She speaks her mind and stands up for herself. She is very independent and strong-willed. She was a servant in her own house until she came to the Palace where she was tutored in being a proper princess Unique Characteristics: She doesn’t want to marry the Prince Goals: To be herself and to leave the Palace and become a doctor Transformation: She changes herself into the beautiful mysterious woman at the ball Ella is a dynamic character. She says what she feels and she fights for what she believes in. She is a modern day, independent woman in medieval times. She doesn’t believe she’s beautiful and she feels isolated because she doesn’t feel like she’s truly princess material.
Rhodopis From: Greece originally but was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Egypt. (From The Egyptian Cinderella) Description: She’s young, with blonde hair and green eyes. She’s kind to all people. She does things to try to make people happy. She wants to fit and be liked. She is cheerful and gets easily embarrassed when she is teased by the other servants. She is very obedient. She’s a slave and does all menial labor. Unique Characteristics: She likes to dance and she talks with animals whom she keeps company with Goals: To go with other servants to see Pharoah Transformation: Her master gives her rose-red slippers which made her carefree Rhodopis is a more dynamic Cinderella in that she’s believable because she wants to just fit in. She knows she’s different and she is isolated because of this. She has human feelings of anger when her slippers are dirtied and are taken away by falcon.
Settareh From: Persia (from The Persian Cinderella) Description: She’s young with ebony hair and dark eyes. She has a heart-shaped mark on her left cheek that her sisters make fun of. She wants to please her sisters all of the time and does what they want her to do, even when they make fun of her. She is giving to everyone, even when she needs it herself. She is very shy and lonely because she is ignored. She is very obedient to men and to her sisters. Unique Characteristics: She is changed into a dove by magical pins that were put into her hair by her sisters. Goals: To go to the festival at the palace Transformation: She transforms her tattered rags into beautiful clothes by wishing on a little blue jug Settareh is a very shy girl who wants the love and attention of her family. She lives as a pauper in her own house and doesn’t complain. She is a stereotypical “kind, gentle, and beautiful” girl, but she doesn’t have much personality other than that.
Trembling From: Ireland (from Fair, Brown, and Trembling) Description: She’s young and very beautiful and is kind to other people. She is lonely because she is isolated by her sisters. She obeys them even though they make her do all of the hard work and keep her dressed and fed poorly. Unique Characteristics: She rides a horse. She is the mysterioous woman who won’t go inside of the church. Several princes fight for her hand in marriage because she’s so beautiful. Goals: To go to church Transformation: She is magically transformed into the well-dress woman who stands in the doorway of the church by a henwoman. Trembling is also a flat character. She does as she’s told and doesn’t question her sisters’ authority over her. She beautiful and kind and is the epitome of goodness. Like Cinderella, she’s too good to be true.
Ashpet From: Appalachia (from Ashpet) Description: She was young, “fresh-faced and regular-featured. ” She is a hard worker and does what she’s told. She is kind to people, especially older people. She’s also very clever and tries hard to make the people she works for happy. She is a serving girl in a household with a jealous widow and her two ugly daughters. Unique Characteristics: She has a hillbilly accent Goals: To go to the church meeting Transformation: Granny magically cleans the house and creates a red calico dress and shoes which make Ashpet look pretty. Ashpet is a little less shallow than some of the other Cinderellas. She has some spunk when she figures out a way to get home before midnight. She’s real in that she’s not described as beautiful and kind. She is nice but not overly, sicky-sweet nice. She is more believable.
Yeh-Shen From: China (from Yeh-Shen) Description: She’s a young, beautiful girl who is very lonely and sad. She’s lived a tragic life. Her parents have died and her stepmother is cruel to her. She works almost as a slave in her own home. She has little food or clothes. She is kind to people and animals. She is timid and obedient. Unique characteristics: Her only friend is a fish Goals: To go to the festival Transformation: Yeh-Shen wishes on the fish’s bones and he transforms her outfit into a splendid gown with beautiful slippers Yeh-Shen is the stereotypical “Cinderella” who has gentle heart and is beautiful. However, she is much more sad than the other “Cinderellas”. Her sadness gives her an aura of melancholy that makes her less like the others, who seem to be more happy-go-lucky.
Jouanah From: Hmong (from Juuanah: A Hmong Cinderella) Description: She’s young, kind and beautiful. She is devastated when her step-mother kills her mother, who had been turned into a cow. She tries to be a peacekeeper and not make her family angry with her. She does all the hard labor in her household without complaint. She is very obedient because she doesn’t want to make waves. Unique Characteristics: The spirit of her mother guides her Goals: To go to the New Year festivities in the village Transformation: Jouanah opens her mother’s sewing basket to find a beautiful outfit for the festival. Her mother’s spirit in the sewing basket helps transform her. Jouanah is sweet and kind, but the one word that describes her most is that she is a pacifist. I think she does it out of respect. She represents good, but because she is so good and without faults, she’s basically unreal. She’s had a tragic life, but is not as sad as Yeh-Shen.
Raisel From: Poland (from Raisel’s Riddle) Description: She is a young orphan girl who is pretty and extremely bright. She values education and learning. She doesn’t want to take advantage of people so she works hard cleaning and cooking for room and board. She’s proud, yet she hold her tongue when the head housekeeper is mean to her. She does what is asked of her without complaining. She puts others first. Unique Characteristics: She’s Jewish and raised by her grandfather Goals: To go to the Purim play and celebration Transformation: She is magically transformed by a old beggar woman into a Queen Esther costume, complete with a horse and buggy. Raisel is a very dynamic character. She’s not shy and she knows what she needs to do in order to survive and is willing to sacrifice her self-pride. She is also respected more for her knowledge and education than her looks. She could be one of us because she was upset when the housekeeper made her do something again, just to be cruel. She’s most like Ella.
The Rough-Faced Girl From: Lake Ontario, Algonquin Indian Tribe (from The Rough-Faced Girl) Description: She’s young and poor. Her face is scarred from tending the fire. She does all the chores. Even though her sisters and others mock and insult her she is kind to them and keeps her head held high. But, she is isolated and lonely. She knows deep down in her heart that she’s beautiful and good. She is humble and accepts what little her father can offer her. She’s strong-willed and has great faith in herself. Unique Characteristics: She has a scarred-face Goals: To marry the Invisible Being Transformation: After it has been decided that she is going to marry the Invisible Being, his sister bathes her in waters that remove the scars from her face and makes her hair healthy again. Her outer beauty is finally revealed The Rough-Faced Girl is not the typical “Cinderella”. She is a girl who has true grit. She’s unique in that she’s not beautiful on the outside, but yet it’s the beauty of her inside the wins her the Invisible Being. She is the most unique of all Cinderellas.
The plots of these ten Cinderella stories were more diverse than the main characters themselves. Each story had vastly different supporting characters and the each story unfolded in a unique way. Surprisingly not all stories had a magical element as most fairy tales do. Despite this fact, these stories had some similar elements/events in their storylines. These similarities were: -A young girl was the main character -A jealous woman was the antagonist -Conflict of Man Vs. Man -The good girl (main character) triumphs over the bad, jealous woman (antagonist) -The girl wins her “prince” in the end -A happy ending The following ten slides gives plot details of each story.
Cinderella Protagonist: Cinderella Antagonist: Step-mother and step-sisters Conflict: Cinderella is not allowed to go to the ball because she’s so beautiful and her step-mother and step-sisters are afraid she would get the attention of the Prince that they wanted for themselves. Helping Being: Fairy godmother Climax: Cinderella loses her glass slipper when leaving the ball. Resolution: The Prince tries the slipper on every girl, until Cinderella tries it on and it fits. He marries her and she forgives her sisters for being mean to her.
Just Ella Protagonist: Ella Antagonist: Madame Bisset Conflict: Ella doesn’t want marry the Prince or become a princess anymore. She wants to leave the castle and be independent. Helping Being: A little girl named Mary helps her to escape the castle. Climax: She realizes she is in love with her tutor, Jed and finally tells Madame Bisset that she doesn’t want to marry the Prince and she wants to leave the castle. Resolution: She is put into the dungeon, where she finally escapes to a war camp and starts learning how to nurse. Her sister marries the Prince and she happily waits for Jed to leave the castle to be with her.
The Egyptian Cinderella Protagonist: Rhodopis Antagonists: The Egyptian Servant Girls Conflict: Rhodopis wanted to go with the other servants to see Pharaoh, but they didn’t allow her to go because they were jealous and didn’t like her because she was different. Helping Being: A falcon who takes her slipper to Pharaoh and her Master who gives her the slippers. Climax: Her slippers are stolen by falcon and given to Pharaoh Amasis. Resolution: Amasis has every woman try it on. Finally, he tries it on Rhodopis and it fits her and her marries her.
The Persian Cinderella Protagonist: Settareh Antagonists: Her two step-sisters and step-mother Conflict: Settareh is not able to go to the festival at the palace because she was unable to buy fine clothes for the occasion. Helping Being: A small blue jug that grants wishes Climax: Settareh loses her diamond ankle bangle when fleeing from the palace to get home before her step-mother and sisters. Resolution: The Prince finds the bangle and has every girl try it on. Finally, Settareh tries it on and it fits and they are set to get married until her sisters, using the magic jug turn her into a turtledove. Eventually, the Prince turns her back into a human and marries her and her sisters’ hearts burst and they died.
Fair, Brown, and Trembling: An Irish Cinderella Story Protagonist: Trembling Antagonists: Fair and Brown, her sisters Conflict: Trembling wants to go to church, but her sisters will not let her go because they are afraid that she’ll find a husband before they do. Helping Being: A henwoman who magically transforms Trembling Climax: The Prince of Emania pulled off Trembling’s slipper as she rode away from church. Resolution: The Prince tries it on all females and finally tries it on Trembling. Before he can marry her though, he fights for her hand with other princes from the world. He defeats them all and marries Trembling. Her sisters are put off in a boat in the ocean.
Ashpet: An Appalachian Tale Protagonist: Ashpet Antagonist: Widow Hooper and her daughters, Myrtle and Ethel Conflict: Widow Hooper will not let Ashpet go to the church meeting because they feel she shouldn’t go because she’s just a serving girl and she has chores to do instead. Helping Being: Granny who magically cleans the house and produces a dress and shoes for Ashpet Climax: She kicks one of her shoes into the bushes to distract the doctor’s son during their picnic, so she can get home before midnight. Resolution: The doctor’s son goes to every house looking for the owner of the shoe. Eventually, he finds Ashpet wearing the other shoe and he marries her and buys out her contract to the Widow Hooper. The Widow and her daughter are shunned by the way they treated Ashpet and they move to another town.
Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China Protagonist: Yeh-Shen Antagonist: Her step-mother Conflict: Yeh-Shen is not allowed to go to the festival because her step-mother is afraid that Yeh-Shen will get a marriage proposal and her own daughter will not. Helping Being: The bones of the fish magically grant Yeh-Shen anything her heart desires. Climax: She loses her slipper when she runs away fearing that she has been spotted at the festival by her step-mother and step-sister. Resolution: The Prince decides to marry the girl who owns this slipper. Many try it on but it doesn’t fit. Yeh-Shen goes to the pavilion, late at night, where the slipper in order to get it back. When she puts it on, she is transformed back into beautiful clothes. The Prince marries her and her mother and step-sister are crushed to death by a shower of flying stones.
Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella Protagonist: Jouanah Antagonist: Her step-mother Conflict: Jouanah’s step-mother doesn’t like Jouanah and has made her life miserable by killing her mother who had been turned into a cow and not letting her go to the festival because she was afraid Jouanah would overshadow her own daughter because of Jouanah’s beauty. Helping Being: The spirit of her mother who is in the sewing basket Climax: The handsome son of the chief, Shee-Nang, plays music for Jouanah, but she has to leave when she sees her step-mother and sister leaving. In the process, she loses her shoe. Resolution: Shee-Nang goes from village to find the owner of the shoe. Eventually, he comes to Jouanah’s house and recognizes her when she refuses to try on the shoe rather than suffer her step-mother’s anger. He marries her and they live happily ever after.
Raisel’s Riddle Protagonist: Raisel Antagonist: Head Housekeeper Conflict: Raisel wants to go to the Purin play but cannot because she is a lowly servant and the housekeeper gave her a lot of work to complete during that time. Helping Being: A beggar woman gives Raisel three wishes Climax: Raisel tells the Rabbi’s son her riddle and rushes out to get home before midnight before telling him the answer. Resolution: The Rabbi’s son decides he wants to marry the girl who told him the riddle. All women come up to him and tell him the wrong riddle. After pushing the Head Housekeeper away, she tells him the riddle and he marries her.
The Rough-Faced Girl Protagonist: The Rough-Faced Girl Antagonist: Her two sisters Conflict: All three sisters want to marry the Invisible Being. In order to marry him though, you have to have been able to have seen him. Helping Being: There is none. The Rough-Faced girl does it all on her own. The only help she gets is when the Invisible Being’s sister bathes her in waters that makes her beautiful. Climax: The Rough-Faced Girl announces that she is going to go and marry the Invisible Being Resolution: The sister of the Invisible Being asks the girl questions to see if she has truly seen them. She answers correctly and is married to the Invisible Being. She becomes beautiful by taking a bath in a special river. Her two sisters are shamed in the tribe because they failed in their attempts to marry the Invisible Being
The Culture: The culture played a large role in shaping these Cinderella stories. Each story has clearly distinct cultural elements that set them apart from the others. The next ten slides will explain how each particular culture helped shape each story.
Cinderella Perrault’s Cinderella is from the medieval French culture. One cultural element that is critical to the story is the noble social/hierarchal structure. Cinderella represents the lowest level, being a servant in her own home and she wins the heart of a Prince, who is at the highest level. Another cultural element is the value of beauty in women. Cinderella is the epitome of beauty.
Just Ella The culture represented in this story is medieval English. The castle and the Prince (royalty) are extremely important cultural figures. The ways that women and men interact such as following behind, not being in the same room together are also part of this culture. One of the most crucial cultural elements are the way that women are supposed to behave. They are not to speak up or do things for themselves. They embroider and learn musical instruments.
The Egyptian Cinderella This story represents the Ancient Egyptian culture. Slavery is an important cultural elements because slavery was practiced in Ancient Egypt. Another cultural element is the falcon who represents one of the Egyptian gods. It was a sign from the god to find the girl who wore this slipper. Pharaoh is also a critical cultural element because he was the leader, a god to the people.
The Persian Cinderella This story comes from the Persian culture. One of the main cultural elements is that the women lived in a separate area from men and kept their heads covered when they were around men. Another cultural element is that the thing she loses is a an ankle bangle which women in that culture wear.
Fair, Brown, and Trembling This story comes from the Irish culture. The main cultural element is the emphasis of attending church (that is where Trembling wants to go). The other cultural element that is important is that it takes place in Erin which is a well-known Irish town.
Ashpet This stories represents the Appalachian culture. The most critical cultural element is the language they use towards each other. For example, “firewood that wants bustin’”. Granny is also important, culture-wise because she represents the wisdom and tradition of the community. Another important cultural element is the clothing. Ashpet magically receives a red calico dress and shoes (she didn’t have any before)
Yeh-Shen This story comes from the Chinese culture. Respecting and bowing down to authority is perhaps the most important cultural element. The festival also represents another crucial cultural element because these were the places were matchmaking took place.
Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella This tale comes from the Hmong culture in Thailand. This culture centered on agriculture This story takes place on a rice farm. Respect for elders are also an important element and it is showed by Jouanah when she doesn’t want to upset her step-mother. Another critical cultural element is the village festival which is the place to find a husband. The way a man shows he likes a girl at such a festival is by playing music to her to show her he’s interested.
Raisel’s Riddle This story comes from the Polish Jewish culture. The main cultural element in this story is the celebration of the Jewish holiday of Purin. When Raisel is transformed to go to the Purin play, she is transformed into Queen Esther, an important biblical figure for this faith. Also culturally important is that the Rabbi and his son are held in high esteem, almost like royalty. The studying and the knowledge of the scriptures is another cultural element that is important in this story.
The Rough-Faced Girl This story comes from the Algonquin culture One of the main cultural elements is the setting. It takes place in an Algonquin village where they live in a wigwam which is decorated. The clothing is also an important cultural element. In this story, they were buckskin clothing with beaded moccasins. The Invisible Being also shows the Algonquin culture in that is is actually part of the sky. He is nature and he is valued for being rich and generous. Also, the unmarried sister living with her brother is part of the culture. She is the one who screens potential wives.
Summary When I started this project, I hadn’t realized just how many “Cinderella”-type stories were available. I was actually overwhelmed by the amount of Cinderella sources that I found. I brought a whole crate full home from the library and then I raided my own personal collection. The main challenge was to go through all the story and find the ones that I liked. This was difficult because they are started sounding exactly alike. I had to go through them several times to get the ten that I wanted. It was exhausting, both physically and mentally. Many times I had to just stop and do something else for fear that I’d go Cinderella crazy. One of the most interesting and disappointing things that I learned was that most Cinderella characters were flat and didn’t have much of a personality. I really started not to like them as much as I did before I started the project. I wanted her to have some sort of personality instead of being “beautiful” and “kind”. She was NOT human! I guess I would have to describe her as the beautiful girl who you’d really like to hate, but can’t because she’s so nice. This realization frustrated me. I really wanted to like them, but I only liked a few. The hardest thing for me was to do the cultural analysis. I was so exhausted by the other two analysis that I don’t think I did justice to this aspect. If I could do it over again, I would choose to analyze that part first and do a lot more research on those cultures than I was able to. Or, I think I would like to focus more on the setting. I think that if I were to continue this work, I would study “Cinderella”s that break the stereotypical Cinderella mold because I learned the most out of the character analysis and I really liked the “Cinderellas” who were closer to being human.
The End Or, she lived happily ever after because she finally completed this project.