Cinderella: Passive and Dominant Natures

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a fairytale only to find yourself bound by the restrictions of your gender? Well, Anne Sexton created a poem that did just that. In this version of “Cinderella”, Sexton does a retell of the traditional interpretation with a sardonic twist. This particular twist is in resemblance to the Grimm’s version. In “Cinderella”, Sexton uses the descriptions of stereotypes and symbolism that remains insensible to the preliminary adversities of the “rags to riches” maiden to acme the irrelevance and passiveness of women and the prominent supremacy of men Anne Sexton’s “Cinderella” irradiates the idealistic and discriminatory stereotypes in age-old fairy tales, stereotypes unconsciously engraved in the minds of millions of children. She expresses to the world’s spectators of fairy tale devotees the unashamed disparity in “Cinderella,” showing that this classic fairy tale simply does not add up to be “happily ever after.” According to Alexandra Robins, “Cinderella represents the quintessential fairy-tale, with its chaste damsel in distress, wicked step relatives, patriarchal royalty, and of course, Prince Charming and the ever-trite wish come true” (101).

Robbins and Sexton both thought the same of the classic story, however Sexton’s plot is dependent upon Cinderella being a catastrophic character burdened by her culture and powerless to change. Female stereotypes of impassiveness and dormancy counterpart male stereotypes of power and success. Cinderella obeys to her mother’s advice to “be devout” (Sexton 1)and to “be good” (Sexton 1), acquiescently enduring such critical invectives as being the everlasting maid for the domiciliary and accepting a mere twig of a tree from her father rather than receiving the trinkets and gowns given to her stepsisters. Instead of trying to change her inferior situation, she suppresses her feelings, a stereotypical.

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