Differing Family Roles in Cinderella- Parents

One of the main things the Grimm version emphasizes is the grieving of Cinderella for her mother. It states that “three times a day” she would visit her mother’s grave and cry. In the Disney version, the main focal point is Cinderella trying to get to the ball. There is no mention at all of Cinderella’s birth mother. Is there a deeper meaning with this choice of Disney’s? Disney is promoting the fact that in order to be happy in life you need a handsome prince and pretty clothes. Or perhaps their aim is to encourage moving on with your life and not living in the past. In the original, the mother is also seen as helping Cinderella. Cinderella plants a branch that her father picked by her mother’s grave. This sprouts and a little white bird would start flying to her and giving her what she wishes. The mother, perhaps, is responsible for this, and is looking out for Cinderella, even after her death.

            Another difference with her parents is the father. In the Disney movie, there is no mention of her father. Instead, there is only the stepmother present. In the original, the father is present in the story the entire time.  He knows that Cinderella suffers from her stepmother and stepsisters ridicule/demeaning tasks, yet he does nothing about it. Disney probably excluded the father because they don’t want to show that your real parents can be so cruel, even if it is indirectly. In the original, he is in charge of the house, instead of the stepmother. When the prince comes searching for the right foot, the father talks to him and it is he, not the stepmother, that is sure Cinderella is not the right fit. Cinderella goes to the ball three times in the original, and each time, the prince asks her father if it is Cinderella. Each time the father is doubtful but the two look for her anyway. To her father, Cinderella is nothing more than a servant at the house. Disney excluded all of this in order to give a positive image of parents and show that your true parents would never be mean or mistreat you.

Stepmother, as seen in the Disney movie:



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