Cinderella is a classical faerytale that was brought to life by Disney. Numerous versions of the tale have been told through different versions of media. Like most of Walt Disney’s films Cinderella was based on the tale created by The Brothers Grimm. Both tell a tale of a prince finding his love with a missing slipper, yet each are unique in telling the tale.
The Glass Slipper
Cinderella was a tale that on the surface, told the tale of a servant girl who with the help of her Faery Godmother attended a prince’s ball and met her true love before fleeing leaving a glass slipper behind. The prince demands that the shoe be taken to every female household to find the shoe owner offering to marry the girl. Underneath, the surface lies a darker tale that Disney hid with bright colors and catchy tunes.
Ella lost her father at a young age only for him to remarry to Lady Tremaine who had two daughters of her own. With his passing, Lady Tremaine and her daughters told over the home forcing Ella to become their maid and calling her Cinderella as an insult. Ella is a daydreamer using her imagination to escape the abuse from her family knowing that staying in an abusive home is better than being homeless.
The Brothers Grimm’s tale is more gruesome then its Disney counterpart. Cinderella is a girl who mother dies at a young age and after a year his father remarried. None of the characters are given names except Cinderella, which is a name given to her by her stepsisters.
Cinderella wants to attend the King’s festival which lasts three days. Being denied by her Stepmother she cries at the tree above her mothers grave. A bird brings her the gold dress and slippers. She attends the ball when on the third day her slipper is caught on the stairs.
Why A Shoe?
Both stories have the same outline but what makes them different is who’s important in the tale. In Disney’s version Ella is the focus showing that she is kind, tending to the mice and other animals while trying to find the good in those she is forced to live with. The Brother’s Grimm wanted to show what was done to those who mistreated the child. The writers focus more on the stepmother’s actions and how the stepsisters use of self-harm hoping to trick the prince into marrying them.
What is odd, that in both stories the prince finds Cinderella with a shoe despite spending one- or three-nights dancing with her. This seems odd but, in a way, makes sense. The shoes reflected Cinderella on the inside making the shoes custom made but also fragile. A play on her kind and gentle nature.
Furthermore, it’s clear that both stories used the same concept for the backbone of what tale they wanted to showcase to the audience. One wanted to show a daydreamer with the hopes of escaping her life while the other wanted someone to love them replacing the grief of losing a love one. Both show the same girl who is a person that’s abused can react in both ways depending on their situation.
The idea that a pair of slippers is how many describes the story is another way to view the story. Shoes are often overlooked and underappreciated, yet some use their shoes to express themselves while others use them to get through the day. Making a mundane item seem precious is common to making a servant girl a princess.
Now, shush, I’m trying to read,