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Cinderella is a children's story told in many different ways; this essay is a rhetorical analysis of a French version by Charles Perrault and the Germany version written by the Grimm Brothers. Both versions are the story of young girl whose life is dramatically changed when her father takes a new wife. Each story contains the characters of a stepmother and two stepsisters, an absent father and a prince who rescues Cinderella from horrors of her home life. While the underlying foundation is the same, the two stories differ significantly in the character's behaviors toward Cinderella, the characters whom watch over Cinderella, the authors' tone and manner, and the lessons to be learned from reading the stories.
The most substantial difference between the two stories is Cinderella and the fairy godmother character. In Perrault's version, Cinderella is smart, witty and gracious. She uses her skills to not raise suspension in her stepmother or sister's mind that she is the unknown princess. His Cinderella also receives some degree of respect from her sisters, who consult Cinderella on their hair and clothing for the ball. Perrault's Cinderella is aided by a benevolent godmother who engages with Cinderella in the preparation for attending the ball; Cinderella works with her fairy godmother to find the vegetables and animals, which become her coach, horses and coachmen that transport her to the ball.
The Brothers Grimm's Cinderella is a victim who receives no respect from her new family and is often verbally abused. Additionally, a warm and kind godmother does not exist in the Grimm Brother's version. The help Cinderella receives is giving by the birds in her home and the tree, which grows on her mother's grave. Cinderella seems to only follow the directions of the birds rather than contribute to the efforts to prepare her for the ball.
The second significant difference between the French and Germany version of Cinderella is the tone used by the authors. Perrault provides a sense of triumph for Cinderella, a caring guardian in the fairy godmother and a positive moral at the end of the story.
The Brothers Grimm use grotesque descriptions to illustrate the evil of the stepmother and stepsisters. They force Cinderella to separate lentils while they attend the ball. They ridicule her for having watched the ball from the window and deny her the right to do so on the second evening. Most disturbing is the description of the sisters mutilating their feet to fit into the slipper. In this version of the story, the Prince must demand to have Cinderella try on the slipper, while in the French version the stepmother and stepsisters provide the prince with knowledge of Cinderella's presences. Additionally, the Brothers Grimm does not provide Cinderella with the kind influence of a godmother. Instead the brothers provide Cinderella with birds, whose help does not come with warmth. The birds tell the prince of the bloody slippers to make him aware of the tricks the stepmother has played on him.
Cinderella is a children's story, one that teaches the lesson of good winning over evil and the story of richness of character winning over material riches. Unfortunately, both versions of the story tell of a charming prince rescuing a mistreated maiden. If one was to choose which a version to share with their children Perrault's version would easily win. The French version is less terrifying, exhibits how one can contribute to changing one's situation and ends with a positive lesson of good verse evil.[continue]
"Rhetorical Analysis Of Cinderella 'stories" (2010, October 11) Retrieved February 6, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/rhetorical-analysis-of-cinderella-stories-7844
"Rhetorical Analysis Of Cinderella 'stories" 11 October 2010. Web.6 February. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/rhetorical-analysis-of-cinderella-stories-7844>
"Rhetorical Analysis Of Cinderella 'stories", 11 October 2010, Accessed.6 February. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/rhetorical-analysis-of-cinderella-stories-7844