Cinderella Analysis By: Alexandra Szczupak
Cinderella by Anne Sexton • A sarcastic rendition of the fairytale, Cinderella • Very matter of fact poem • Originally written by the Grimm Brothers, it has been adapted into many different versions • Most notable is the Disney motion picture Cinderella
Very Sarcastic Refer to “every day” Cinderella stories Plumber-Irish Sweepstakes Luscious nursemaid who marries rich Milkman-real estate Charwoman- insurance Uses Cliché of rags to riches Uses pop culture referrences Irish Sweepstakes Dior Martinis Bonwit Teller First Four Stanzas
A nice young girl is left to live with her father, his new wife and two despicable step sisters after the death of her mother Father brings home a twig one day to Cinderella and she plants it on her mothers grave Twig grows into a tree with a white dove Acts as Fairy Godmother Next was the ball Cinderella was only allowed to go if she could pick up all the lentils thrown onto the floor Dove grants the wish of clothing Cinderella with gold shoes and Jewelry Goes to the ball and catches the eye of the prince They dance all night but she must leave before the spell wears off Actual Story
Actual Story • Events repeated for three days • Prince put wax on the steps on the third day to try to capture Cinderella but her shoe only stuck • Prince tries to find the mystery girl by the shoe • First step sister cuts off big toe to fit • Second Sister cuts off heel to feet • Excessive bleeding gave both of them away • Cinderella’s foot fit and they lived happily ever after with no worries
Analysis • Sexton was known as one of the leading modern day poets • Used feminism and shock in many of her poems • Cinderella mocks a fairytale story by saying that the only way to happiness is to go from poverty to riches overnight • Makes fun of sappy women who want to find men to achieve wealth and fortune
Tone/Mood • Sexton achieves a very sarcastic mood • throughout the poem using phrases like: • “ That story”. • “Makes a pile’. • “From diapers to Dior”. • “That’s the way with stepmothers”. • “Find the strange dancing girl for keeps”. • “That is the way with amputations. They don’t just heal up like a wish”. • “never arguing over the timing of an egg”.
Simile • “ The white truck like an ambulance’. • “ hearts like blackjacks”. • “ Looking like Al Jolson”. • “Drop it like an egg upon the ground”. • “Cried forth like a gospel singer”. • “He began to feel like a shoe salesman”. • “ Like a loveletter into its envelope”. • “ Two hollow spots were left like ssoup spoons”. • “ Lived happily ever after like two dolls in a museum case”.
Metaphor • “Next came the ball, it was a marriage market”. • “Regular Bobbsey Twins”. • Referring to Cinderella and prince at the end of poem
Foreshadowing • “The bird is important so heed him”. • Talking about turtle dove that grants Cinderella her wishes • Telling readers to watch out for him when he grants wishes but also when he pecks out the stepsisters eyes
Lasting impression • Humorous poem that diverges from the Cinderella that we grew up with • Got a sense that Sexton wanted to depart from fairytale norms and mock traditional rags to riches stories • Also interesting that Sexton portrayed women hurting themselves to make themselves desirable for a man • Clearly shows by the end of the poem that the couple never face troubles or hardship