A Critique of “Cinderella: Not So Morally Superior”
In “Cinderella: Not So Morally Superior,” Elisabeth Panttaja offers a claim through her analysis on how Cinderella is not the helpless victim she is known for, or the motherless protagonist. She compares the mothers to prove Cinderella is not superior and in fact it is the mothers who are. The text presents Panttaja’s argument that Cinderella along with her mothers actions are not morally correct compared to what the story is known for, Cinderella lets her mother control the prince which is not morally correct. Panttaja’s argument relies on an analysis of details from a specific version of the tale Cinderella and the Grimm Brothers’ version. While her thesis “Cinderella succeeds not because she is more patient or virtuous than her stepsisters or stepmother, but because she is a craftier, willing to employ powerful magic to defeat the forces arrayed against her” (286) can be discussed. Panttaja does not cover the specifics of the theme of the fairytale; nor analyzes them as deeply for the argument to be effective.
Panttaja argues that Cinderella is not the the character everyone sees her to be; Cinderella is actually not so good hearted and has a mother there for her. Panttaja believes that Cinderella’s mother plays a key role into the moral of the story along with the decisions Cinderella makes (Panttaja, 286). Although the mother is dead she still remains superior with the most power. Throughout the story the dead mother uses magical powers to put Cinderella at the top. The alleged topic of the famous story is known to be about love but is really about the mother / daughter relationship. Panttaja argues that the "evil" stepmother and the real mother are very similar, wanting the best for their daughters and doing everything to make them the best. Unlike the original story in Grimms the prince is "enchanted" to Cinderella from the mothers magic (288). The two stories also differ one calling Cinderella "deformed" and the sisters "fair" and visa versa (288). In conclusion, the story talks more about the mothers than the love that cinderella finds.
Panttaja builds her strongest argument when discussing the mother and step mother. Panttaja uses the mothers morals to draw parallels between the mother and step mother. Both mothers share the same goals for their daughters, “a future of power and willing to do anything for it” (288). They do this so their daughters have an “advantage marriage”. Panttaja interrogates the mothers morals and...