In the year 1812, Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, better known today as “The Brothers Grimm” wrote a story about a young girl whose mother dies and is then tormented by her new step-mother and step-sisters. They enslave her in her own home by forcing her to do all the chores and to sleep amongst the ashes. The young girl endured this torment each and every day because her dying mother said to her “Dear child, be good and pious and then God will always protect thee.” (Grimm, 1812)
In this version of the story, that has been and is still beloved by so many throughout the world over, we take a closer look at some of the visceral elements of the story (jealousy, rage, envy) that beg the question, “Is this actually a fairy tale?”
We begin after Cinderella’s mother dies, and her father brings home a new wife and two daughters. Almost immediately, they disliked the young girl. Was it because she was more beautiful than they? Could that be a form of jealousy? They stripped her of all of her pretty clothes and her bed, and forced her to wear an old bedgown and wooden shoes and sleep amongst the ashes. This is how she came to be known as “Cinderella.” The only thing Cinderella wanted was to be a part of this new family, and was denied this by all, including her own father who was either unaware of treatment that she was enduring or had no feeling for his young daughter. The story does not explain why her father ignored these actions, so one can only make assumptions.
The King of the land appointed a festival which would last three days, and all of the beautiful young girls in the county were welcome so that his son could find a bride. Cinderella wanted to go to the festival; however, her step-mother and step-sisters would not let her go until she completed all of her chores. They intentionally would empty all of the peas and lentils into the ashes and force her to pick them all out and only then could attend the festival. She would be assisted by white pigeons, turtledoves and all the birds in the land to complete this task. They did this numerous times, and Cinderella...