The fairy tale ???Cinderella??? has numerous tales that have originated all over the world. The Disney movie ???Cinderella??? who most know and love is based on Charles Perrault??™s tale of ???Cinderella???. In contrast, Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm??™s Cinderella version called ???Ashputtle??? has events and an ending that is unfamiliar to what most are used to with the happily ever after ending in Perrault??™s. The evil step sisters manipulate an attempt to bring injustice to Cinderella and as a result, in one tale are forgiven rewarded, and in the other receive a punishment gruesome, but fit for their actions.
In both versions of ???Cinderella???, the step sisters manipulate Cinderella??™s kindness; however it was more evident in Grimm??™s tale. The step sisters in Perrault??™s story were described as snobby, arrogant, proud and not attractive (Perrault, 39). On the other hand, In Grimm??™s they were described as, ???beautiful and fair to the face but vile and black of heart??? (Grimm, 121). The difference in attitudes is significant because snobby and arrogant is not as evil meaning as the word vile. The sister??™s in Grimm??™s are evil and because of their ???black heart??? have no feelings, or care for anyone which is evident in how they treat Cinderella. In both stories the step sisters called her ???Cinderella??™ because of the cinders that clung to her clothes from the chimney, however, there is more name calling and manipulating of Cinderella in ???Ashputtle???. The sister??™s in Grimm??™s would purposely create another mess right after Cinderella had cleaned, just to make her work harder (Grimm, 121). When the sisters in ???Cinderella??? were getting ready for the ball, Cinderella offered to help them, which they agreed to have their help (Perrault, 39). On the other hand, in ???Ashputtle???, the sisters demanded Cinderella to get them ready,
despite crying when Cinderella did so, ???Cinderella obeyed, but wept??¦??? (Grimm, 122). The sister??™s in Grimm??™s didn??™t care that Cinderella was crying as she was brushing their hair which proves that the sisters in ???Ashputtle??? indeed have an evil heart. In ???Cinderella??? the sisters agreed to have Cinderella wait on them which supports that they were snobby as they didn??™t force her to but happily agreed to have their step-sister slave to them when she offered.
The step sisters went to extreme measures in Grimm??™s tale of ???Ashputtle??? to try to steal Cinderella??™s shoe and therefore bring her injustice, unlike Perrault??™s version. In ???Cinderella???, the description of the step-sisters encountering the shoe is very short and brief. The tale reads that although both the sisters tried to fit into the glass slipper, neither of their feet could fit (Perrault, 44). At first they laughed when Cinderella sat down to try on the slipper but then they noticed her true beauty once she was transformed into the girl they saw at the ball. In Grimm??™s however, the sisters did everything they could to make their feet fit into the shoe. The first sister??™s foot wouldn??™t fit because of her toe so she cut her toe off and she almost got away with it until the prince noticed the blood and took her back (Grimm, 126). The second sister??™s foot didn??™t fit because her heel was too big so she cut off her heel. The prince noticed the blood once again and took this sister back as well. Then they tried to hide Cinderella from the prince so she wouldn??™t get a chance to try on the shoe but when Cinderella??™s foot fit into the shoe the sisters were ???horrified and became pale with rage??? (Grimm, 127). The difference in actions of the step-sisters in the stories is largely based on their attitudes toward Cinderella. In Perrault??™s, the sisters were upset their feet didn??™t fit but didn??™t
take their anger out on Cinderella like the sister??™s did in Grimm??™s by hiding her and attempting to not let her try on the slipper. The sisters in ???Ashputtle??? also attempted to bring Cinderella injustice by making their feet fit the slipper and therefore taking Cinderella??™s shoe, prince and new lifestyle away.
The ending of the tales of ???Cinderella??? have entirely different actions on the step sisters but complement the actions they took on Cinderella. In Perrault??™s story, once the sisters realized Cinderella??™s true beauty they bowed to her feet and apologized from the way they had treated her (Perrault, 44). As a result, Cinderella forgave them, found them husbands and allowed them to live in the castle with her. The sisters in ???Ashputtle??? on the other hand were punished. As a result from their actions on Cinderella and trying to slime their way into her happy ending and wealth they had their eyes pecked out by pigeons and were punished with ???blindness??? for their ???wickedness and falsehood??? (Grimm, 128). The actions on the step sisters are completely opposite in both of these tales however, in the Grimm??™s version the sisters, instead of congratulating Cinderella or trying to apologize they stood back and became enraged with her. Even though she was now in her beautiful clothes with her fancy new lifestyle the sisters still refused to see the beauty in her and felt sorry for themselves.
Although the basic plot line of these two Cinderella stories is similar, the step sister??™s actions on manipulating Cinderella and trying to steal her new life are attempted on different measures depending on the attitudes they treated Cinderella with. The outcome of their actions is significantly different but complement how the step sisters controlled their emotions at the end of the tale. The sisters who apologized are forgiven
and rewarded, while the sisters who became enraged and attempted to receive some of Cinderella??™s ???good fortune??? (Grimm, 128) were punished.
Perrault, Charles. ???Cinderella???. Ed. Hallett, Martin and Karasek, Barbara. Broadview
Press: 2002. Print.
Grimm, Jacob and Grimm Wilhelm. ???Ashputtle???. Random House: 1972. Print