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Between Cinders and Thistles - Essay Example

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Between Cinders and Thistles

y. Exactly how similar they are brings me back to their structural simplicity. Western versions of Cinderella has been structured simply however complexity in the tales would prove more effective in relating to the reader the morals being implied in the stories.
In Campbell Grant's Cinderella, the protagonist is being identified as an underdog who never questioned the injustices done to her. In this question on her innocence or guilt concerning the treatment she receives as the hand of her stepmother, Cinderella poses a pathetic figure, especially when all she could do is sit "weeping in the garden" (Grant) after all her sacrifices. She appears to accept cruelty as if she were born to suffer. And the sad thing about it she never seems to question or discover if there can be some way she could transcend her situation. In contrast, John Gardner immortalizes a stronger heroine in Gudgekin who, given the opportunity by the fairy queen, took her shot as this transcendence, motivated by her pity for others. Meanwhile it appears that Grant's Cinderella felt her persecution more intensely because of her apparent self-pity. Self-pity established this early appears to not have the same effect at wisdom compared to its later attainment in Gardner's version. Though Gudgekin concedes to her persecution, Gardner narrates the thread of her emotions and reasons for accepting her fate. As he writes,

It was a bitter life, but she always made the best of it and never felt the least bit sorry for herself, only for the miseries of others.

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the reader reflects on the particular complexity of Gudgekin.
"At the stroke of midnight, the spell will be broken. And everything will be as it was before" (Grant), the rule that Cinderella must return from the ball by midnight implies that the fairy godmother has given the protagonist only a one-time magic offer with conditions and no promises. Moreover, it was not explained to the reader what exactly provoked the fairy godmother to help Cinderella other than her tears. The fairy never questioned why Cinderella wanted to go to the social event. It was only by the assumption perhaps that a girl is likely to want to go because all the others were also going or have already gone. With Gudgekin, it was clearly defined why they went to the royal ball, for the reason the fairy queen wanted to change Gudgekin's naive perspective as a means of self-awareness, "it's time you saw the world." (Gardner) And compared to Grant's Cinderella, the fairy queen worked her magic about three times without conditions, except to bring her home to her stepmother in time for her curfew.
In Cinderella, the violence is being established collectively while in Gudgekin, the violence escalates gradually, with the stepmother increasing her demands of thistles so as never to be outdone at the market and figuring a way of ridding herself of her
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ward.
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Summary

Once upon a time, fairytales were vehicles of escapism. To say that a story is a fairytale is to acknowledge that it is purely make-believe, made up of stereotypes, fairies and witches, the damsel in distress and the charming prince. The worlds in the tales are extreme contrasts, blacks and whites, no grays, when we consider the construction of the characters, settings, plots and themes…
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Between Cinders and Thistles essay example
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