Cinderella: Story by Brothers Grimm and Other Stories


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Throughout time, authors reconstruct many versions of stories such as fairy tales. Even though each story can take on a unique perspective due to different reasons, such as the time period when it’s being told, these stories are linked together by following key events that set it apart as being that particular story, for example Cinderella. Cinderella is told in many different ways, but because all stories follow a similar pattern of events, they are just versions of the same story. What makes the different versions unique, is their ability to maintain the same story events, but be told in different way, being the story’s discourse. Though many versions of Cinderella follow a similar pattern in terms of having the same story events in the plot, differences can be seen in various versions of Cinderella, such as Brothers Grimm’s version of Cinderella and Ananya ’s version of Cinderella, in the way that the story is told. The differences in the overall interpretation of a tale are essential because the differences show how stories evolve over time, and how they can change when told by different people with different perspectives.

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The similarities that exist between Brother’s Grimm version of Cinderella, “Cinderella” and the other version of Cinderella “Cinderella” can be seen in key plot elements. These similarities are what makes both versions a fairytale of Cinderella. For example, the both of the plots involved Cinderella facing the death of an important figure (her mother), and not being able to rely on her father. As a result of that, Cinderella was mistreated by other people. In the Brothers Grimm version, she was mistreated by her step sister’s, “from morning until night” while her “two sisters did everything imaginable to make her miserable” (Grimm 117) and in the other version she was mistreated by her friend’s who “would trick [her] into doing chores for them” ( 1). This plot point is essential in building the fairy tale of Cinderella because it leads to the rest of the conflict of the story in which Cinderella gets invited to attend a major event. The event would be the festival in Brother’s Grimm’s version, and the concert in the other version. However, she is kept from attending the event due to the “villains of the story”. Because of this, Cinderella has to rely on some magic entity, to get to her goal which is the event. In the Brothers Grimm version she relies on a “little bird [who] would toss down what she wished for” (Grimm 118) and in the other versions the magical entity was also a bird who Cinderella believed to be a “magical entity” ( 2). Due to these similarities between the plot, both stories can be seen as fairy tales, and also versions of Cinderella.

However, despite the fact that Brothers Grimm’s version of Cinderella and the other version of Cinderella share similarities in plot, there are many differences that contribute to the discourse between both the stories. The differences that exist between both tellings of “Cinderella” are important to note because they matter to the overall interpretation of the story. For example, one could argue that Brother’s Grimm version of Cinderella can be seen as a more moralistic story. There are many morals that can be pulled from the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella, the most basic example being not to mistreat others, of one would be punished. As there are morals in Brothers Grimm’s version, there is no clear moral that comes from the other version, and would serve better to be analyzed from a psychoanalytical perspective, rather than a moralistic perspective like Brothers Grimm’s version. Throughout the other version of Cinderella, the author mentions on multiple occasions that Cinderella feels “anxious” or “paranoid”, which serves the purpose of forcing the reader to wonder about Cinderella’s mental state. Another main element of discourse that exists is the difference in focalization between both stories. Though both stories are told in the third person, Brothers Grimm version has little dialogue, compared to the other version, which is told primarily through dialogue, arguably almost making it a “first person perspective”. The reason from these difference can be due to the fact that in Brothers Grimms version, the story was made to be more moralistic, so the thoughts and actions of others were vital. However in the other version of Cinderella, the story seems to move away from a moralistic perspective and take on a psychoanalytic perspective, which would require it to focus more on the thoughts and voice of Cinderella. In addition, another key difference that can be seen between both the stories is the order in which the story events are told. In Brothers Grimm’s version, the story follows a chronological order, beginning with Cinderella’s back story of her mother dying, and then continuing from that point on. In the other version of Cinderella, even though the events are told chronologically like Brothers Grimm’s version, the story is being told primarily through a flashback, making the final climax the beginning of the story, and then following the chronological order of Cinderella that Brothers Grimm version follows. Finally, because of the language of the overall story of Brother’s Grimm’s version, it is evident that the storyworld of that version predates the story world that exists in the other version. For example, in Brothers Grimms version, the author mentions going to a wedding at “the king’s palace” (Grimm 118), which is vastly different than the story world built in the other version, which is primarily made up of “blank white walls” (1). The differences between both story worlds exist to show the difference in perspectives of a story told years ago, and a story told in modern times. As a result, these differences become essential in interpreting a tale, and its time period.

Both versions of Cinderella were similar in that they followed the same main plot, however differing in some points which was vital to the overall interpretation of both tales.

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