Saturday, April 6, 2013
Blog Post #8: Cinderella
The story of Cinderella is a rags to riches story featuring a girl who goes from being forced to live on the ground wearing rags to being married to a prince. This motif is very common in stories and movies. I think it is the type of story that everyone wants, and that is why it is so appealing and frequently used. Very few people are happy with their current way of life. Everyone wants more. More money, more friends, more possessions. So, seeing a story where the main character is able to achieve this, it gives people hope that they will be able to advance also. A Cinderella type story is inspiring and comforting to them. The "rags to riches" story has been turned into many movies, such as Pretty Woman, which is a Cinderella-like story. It is about a woman who is a prostitute living in a small apartment. She meets a wealthy man and they fall in love. During the process, he buys her fancy dinners, clothes, and she lives in his penthouse. It is a drastic change from her simple life before. She is now rich and can afford all these things. This parallels with Cinderella, who received new clothes and falls in love with a Prince. Neither Cinderella or the woman in Pretty Woman did anything different to deserve this. They were just themselves and were still able to move up in the world.
This brings about another point- what does it take to achieve riches? How does one go from being poor and living in a bad condition to being rich and able to afford anything they want? In Cinderella, magic was the key factor in this. She received gifts from a fairy god-mother or an enchanted tree. This allowed her to catch the Prince's attention and eventually get married to him, which brought her more riches. In real life, this is not a very realistic way to go from rags to riches. That is why it is reserved to fairy tales. In Pretty Woman, she achieved riches just through her charm and personality. She was able to get a rich man to fall in love with her. After that, all her problems were taken care of. This is a more realistic way to go from rags to riches than the Cinderella fairy tale. Other ways people achieve riches is through marriage (marrying a rich man/woman), career (having a job that earns you a lot), or luck (inheritance or winning the lottery). These are all very realistic ways to become rich, but they don't frequently happen. This is why people love a good rags to riches story. They want to be the person that is able to achieve riches. They see Cinderella achieve this through magic, which is not a very realistic way. They think that if she can succeed with something like magic, they they will be able to do it in a more realistic way. The Cinderella story and movies like Pretty Women gives people hope and comforts them that maybe, someday, their life will be like Cinderella's.