Kolbenschlag tells the story of “Cinderella” from a feminists point of view. The point of feminist criticism is to attempt to clarify the relations of women and men in an array of different viewpoints such as literary works, political and economic affairs, and structures of family life. Throughout the story Kolbenschlag gives us various examples to state her case and leaves us with questions such as: what is the relationship between men and women? How does a womens recognition compare to a man’s? What would a younger audience have to say between the two?
Some of the main topics that you will re read in the story shows the brain wash of Cinderella, her stepsisters female socialization of them lopping off their toes and heels so they are able to fit into the glass slipper which could be telling us that this it the key to heart of the prince.
This then brings me to another theme of fitting into the male standards.
Cinderella is conditioned into believing that her life is nothing more than being a pitiful servant sweeping floors when living with her sisters but later is conditioned to get out of those chores to find a good-looking man who can support her instead of supporting herself. The goal back in the days was to be secure and this meant to be taken care of by someone else even it were to be by force. This ruined Cinderella because although she seemed to have it all having her prince, the horses and whatever fancy possessions was deemed ideal you couldn’t deny that her soul was a falling pumpkin just as her carriage was.
She was not happy and needed desperate help.
Another great example Kolbenschlag uses is the emphasis on the “midnight” prohibition that is put on Cinderella. This was a symbol of being obedient while simultaneously being a threat as well. The threat is that if the heroine does not return to domesticity and docility at the exact time she may lose her “virtue” and no longer meet with her intended one. It shines a light on a double life that many women experience(d), the life outside home and a life of security within the confinement of the home.
From one restriction to another we start to see these things as morally “okay” and don’t seem to question what is actually going on or why this is still going on. Cinderella and like many other woman never got their chance to stand up for what was right from wrong but it is never too late. After all we are only more or less than what we make ourselves out to be.
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