James John Garner's Cinderella From Politically Correct Bedtime Stories

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Jennifer D. Anandarajah Professor Lynn Festa Principles of Literary Study: 359:202:08 11 September 2014 In James Finn Garner’s “Cinderella,” from Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, this classic fairy tale takes on an unusual rendering. This version of Cinderella is a satirical retelling that utilizes the same characters, or actors, such as the fairy god-mother, the prince and the glass slippers, but inhibits them from fully carrying out their predestined functions from the original tale. In doing this, the actors serve to place more realistic restrictions on the story, making the implicit claim that typical fairy tales possess a superficial and impractical nature. In many variations of Cinderella, whoever or whatever takes on the role of the magical entity functions as the first major actor to show caring or love for Cinderella. However, the actor in Garner’s version deviates from this norm. As stated in the text, “Hello, Cinderella. I am your fairy godperson, or individual deity proxy, if you prefer” (Garner 32). This introduction sets a tone for a more impersonal relationship. It becomes…show more content…
However, in this story, they are characterized as “dangerous” (33) and “impractical” (35). They exist in this tale as a hindrance, and much like the atypical fairy god mother and prince, they also ultimately disappear, only to be replaced with Cinderella’s original rags. Only when Cinderella returns to her reality, does she claim “Kill me now if you want, sisters, but at least I’ll die in comfort” (36). This tale eliminates the power that these material objects have on determining Cinderella’s destiny. In most versions, some object, such as the shoes, propel Cinderella into her happily ever after. In this tale, however, when Cinderella realizes that wanting to change herself to fit the norms and desires of society had only bound her in discomfort, she herself becomes the key to her

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