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A Cinderella Story
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  • 1. There have been over 900 stories written about the character of Cinderella. That is positive proof enough to the power of this story. Almost every culture seems to have its own version.
  • 2.  Today we will review 5 different Cinderella stories from different cultures and analyze the text to see how the different cultures portray Cinderella.
  • 3.  Cinderella stories date back as early as 850 A.D.  The first written version of the Chinese tale Yeh-Shen.  The most popular, modern version was written and published by Charles Perrault of France in 1697. The Disney version is based on Perrault’s story.  Most versions include an ineffective father, the absence of a mother figure, some sort of gathering such as a ball or festival, mutual attraction with a person of high status, a lost article, and a search that ends with success. What makes the Cinderella story so popular after all these years? I believe that people enjoy reading about the “underdog” having a chance to win. We all want to believe that this “rags to riches” idea could really happen.
  • 4.  The Cinderella story is actually a fairy tale, which is part of a larger group of stories called folktales.  A folktale is a story that was told again and again and was eventually written down. Originally, these folktales were just entertaining, but then they became vehicles in which natural phenomena were explained, relationships were explored, or morals were taught.  However, fairy tales were simply used to delve into human behavior through fantasy, and offer hope that justice will prevail in the end.
  • 5. In Ireland, in the old times, there lived a lad named Becan. Becan was rather small but his feet were enormous. When his step mother and step sisters moved in they banished him to the fields. With the help of a magical bull, Becan defeats a giant, slays an dragon, and rescues a princess.
  • 6. Before the princess can thank Becan, he disappears leaving only one large boot. The princess searches the Irish countryside looking for the owner of the gigantic boot. Can you guess what happens next? The unusual twist on the original Cinderella starts a kind young boy who has to overcome great obstacles to find true love, just as Cinderella did.
  • 7. In the land of Korea, where magical creatures are as common as cabbage, lives a child named Pear Blossom. She is as lovely as the pear tree Planted in celebration of her Birth, but she is mistreated By Omoni, her jealous step mother.
  • 8. Omoni forces her to rise before the sun to cook and clean until midnight and demands that Pear Blossom completes three tasks that no human could possibly do alone. But Pear Blossom is not alone, magical animals come to assist her. With the help of her magical friends she becomes a nobleman’s wife.
  • 9. Domitila is beautiful, an amazing leather artist and a talented cook. Most of the classical elements of a Cinderella story can be found in Domitila. The difference is that she comes from a wonderful, nurturing family. She rises above hardships and becomes the Governor’s bride.
  • 10. But, unlike most Cinderellas, the only transformation in this story is Timoteo’s, Domitila’s suitor. The story shows how he matures from an arrogant politician’s son to a compassionate family man. There is no glass slipper to fight over, just Domitila’s innate qualities and her family legacy, that make her an amazing Cinderella.
  • 11. Settareh, a beautiful but lonely maiden of long ago Persia, is neglected by her aunts and cousins, and tormented by her step sisters. Settareh is not allowed to attend the Royal New Year’s Celebration with her stepsisters to meet the prince. With the help of a mysterious blue jug, Settareh is able to attend The festival at the palace and win the heart of the prince.
  • 12. But, Poor Settareh! Her troubles start when her jealous stepsisters discover the secret blue jug and with wicked magic of their own, they plot to separate Settareh from her prince.
  • 13. Mufaro was a happy man. Everyone agreed that his two daughters were beautiful. Nyasha was kind and considerate. But everyone knew Manyara was selfish, bad-tempered, and spoiled, except for her father. When the king decided to take a wife, he asked Mufaro to invite his two “Most Worthy and Beautiful Daughters in the Land,” to appear before him.
  • 14. Mufaro said only the king would be able to choose between the two beautiful daughters. Manayara did not agree with her father, so she set out to make certain that she would be the chosen one.
  • 15.  Each cultural version of the five Cinderellas had some type of magic entwined except for Domilita. The Mexican version showed how having a pure heart and pure qualities can change another person without magical spells.  The end of each of the different versions of Cinderella had the basic ending/moral lesson where; Good Things Happen to Good People.
  • 16. Ireland-Korea-Mexico-Persia- West Africa By reading the text and looking at the illustrations, there is an obvious difference in the clothing the people wore, the hair and skin color of the characters in the story, the food, the architecture and the landscape based on the time period the story took place and the geographical location.
  • 17.  Same Each Cinderella or Cinderlad has someone in their life that is mean to them. The Cinderella or Cinderlad characters are good. They all find true love at the end.  Different Each Cinderella depicts a character from the time period and geographical location. Each Cinderella story has a different theme leading to the traditional ending. Different types of magic help them overcome the evil doings of the people around them.
  • 18. Climo, S. & Krupinski, (1996) L.The Irish Cinderlad, Harpers Collins Publisher. Climo, S. & Heller, R. (1993) The Korean Cinderella: Harpers Collins Publisher. Climo, S. & Florczak, R. (1999) The Persian Cinderella. Harpers Collins Publisher. Coburn-Reinhart A. & McLennan C. (2000) Coburn. Illus. by Connie Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition. Shen’s Books Publishing.  Kite, P. Cinderella: A Cross-cultural Story http://teachers.yale.edu/curriculum/search viewer.php?id=initiative_09.01.04_u Northrup M. , “Multicultural Cinderella Stories” in Book Links Steptoe, J. (1987) Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. William Morrow and Company Publishers Zipes J. , The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales.