I chose to look at the Grimms' version of Cinderella and the values that
are evident in the culture.
By his absence throughout the entire story, a message sent to
readers/listeners of this version of the story are led to believe that a
father's love for a daughter wanes to non-existance when he remarries.
The father does not admonish his wife, nor her daughters for the
mistreatment of his own progeny. He allows them to strip her of her
clothing, and treat her as a servant, placing conditions on her
attendance to events she is rightly entitled to attend. By doing this,
he has elevated his wife and step-daughters to a station higher than his
flesh and blood. Additionally, he refers to Cinderella as "my dead
wife's daughter" (Grimm in Tatar, 1999, p. 121), placing no claim on her
Also, we see that sacrifices of the flesh, if made dishonestly, are
fruitless when attempting to come about our desires. Both of
Cinderella's stepsisters mutilate themselves to fit into a shoe, but the
fact that they are morally corrupt and Cinderella is not leads nature to
respond on Cinderella's behalf, alerting the prince to the girls'
deception. In the end, their misdeeds are rewarded with blindness,
another gift from nature.
Tatar, M. (1999). The Classic Fairy Tales. New York: W. W. Norton