Anne Sexton's Cinderella

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In the quintessential storybook fable, readers expect there to be a happy ending that leaves them feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. This can often translate into a person’s real life, that constant search for their own fairy tale ending. In the poem “Cinderella” by Anne Sexton, the Brothers Grimm version of the classic fairy tale is retold with the mindset that living happily ever after is not achievable at all, unlike what mainstream fairy tales want us to believe. What I propose the persona is hinting towards is that, realistically, we should not want to find our own happily ever after all because that would mean our lives would never progress. It would be as if things were frozen in time for eternity, unable to top the grand fairy tale…show more content…
Sexton refers to these stories as “that story”. It is as if the persona has assumed the reader is familiar with each particular tale, but she is really just referring to the familiarity of the basic plot synopsis each story is categorized by. All share the common rags to riches plot in which the main character is at the bottom of a metaphorical “food chain” and eventually rises to the top through hard work, charm and beauty, or luck. Sound familiar? It should, because that’s the exact same idea behind “Cinderella” (the actual story, not the poem). Stories following the rags to riches pattern have since been dubbed “Cinderella stories”. While it’s enjoyable to read about these types of characters finding success and happiness, there are a lot of details left out. For example, we don’t know the repercussions the nursemaid experienced due to fraternizing with her employer’s son, or what injuries the old woman experienced to collect such a high amount of insurance money. It is assumed they find happily ever after, but to what sacrifices, hardships, or price? I think it is safe to assume that the characters would have been just as happy in the end if they hadn’t found their

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