In 1697 Charles Perrault authored Cinderella
…the story of how a young women vanquished evil and misfortune. Cinderella was a persecuted heroine… or so we have been led to believe. My research has led me to conclude that Cinderella was not persecuted, was not a heroine.
Cinderella was manipulative, unpredictable and fickle. She succeeded in her goal to marry a prince. Until today, we have only heard the story of Cinderella from her perspective. Let’s take a look at a few other perspective to balance the view.
Perhaps a shoe on a different foot!
- A forgotten part of the story; Cinderella lived with her father. Can you image a wealthy father allowing his only daughter to languish in rags, subjecting her to servitude, and ignoring her basic needs?
- The fairy god mother… clearly an allegory to her lost mother, replaced by a distraught and indulgent father. He lavished her with a fine dress and jewellery for the Ball.
- Clearly Cinderella’s tears were used to manipulate her father into a providing a horse driven coach (with footmen) to maximise her impact on arrival. A treat not afforded to her step sisters.
- Understandably Cinderella’s beauty would have been cause for tension between the step sisters. It is not unremarkable for a household of young women to be competitive in seeking highly sought after husband.
- Her step sisters were Cinderella’s bridesmaids, so clearly stories of abuse, bullying and mistreatment were over-stated.
- Her step sisters were blinded at the wedding by birds pecking out their eyes.
- So let’s put this in perspective, Cinderella becomes royalty, possibly a future queen. Her step sisters attend her wedding, to then live the remainder of their days completely blind.
- Of course Cinderella was keen to get to the ball. She knew time was running out to marry the Prince, well aware her beauty would clinch her marriage to the naive prince.
- The story about midnight is clearly a tactic to maximise her beauty and minimise any opportunity the Prince may have had to see her fickle and erratic nature.
- On consecutive nights she left the Prince hanging and spellbound by her beauty, orchestrating a pursuit to enhance her chances of marriage.
- If the story of Cinderella continued after the marriage, I am sure we’d have heard a different perspective from the Prince.
- Cinderella achieved her goals, she manipulated her father, used her relationship step sisters to capture the prince, and deceived the Prince with her beauty.
- The moral of the story is… the moral of the story is not always as it first appears.
- For all those other fairy tales, I’d encourage you to look at the outcomes for all participants, get the facts and draw your own conclusions.