Discussion/Writing Prompts for Cinderella revisions, week six

  1. Warner, “Authentic power lies with the bad women, and the plump cosy fairy godmother in Cinderella seems no match for them” (207).
  2. Warner, “If the storyteller is an old woman, the old wife of the old wives’ tale, a nurse or a governess, she may be offering herself as a surrogate to the vanished mother in the story” (215).
  3. Warner, “The unhappy families of fairy tale typically suffer before a marriage takes place which rescues the heroine; but her situation was itself brought about by unions of one kind of another, so that when critics reproach the fairy tale for the glib promise of its traditional ending…they overlook the knowledge of misery within marriage that the preceding story reveals in its every line” (217).
  4. Tatar, “In all these tale types, a persecuted heroine must flee home in order to escape a parental oppressor, either one who overwhelmes her with too much (paternal) love or who punishes her with too little (maternal) love, but rarely both” (127).
  5. Tatar, “A flight into nature offers numerous imperiled women an unlikely, but surprisingly common, refuge from sexual pursuits” (133).
  6. Tatar, “Control of marriage, and hence the regulation of desire and sexuality, are in the hands of the father; the organization of the domestic sphere, which also determines the availability and desirability of daughters, is orchestrated by the mother” (137).

In a focused freewrite, consider how one of these passages can be related to one of the tales we read for today. Choosing a prompt that you think is related to your tale, write about the ways in which they are related—you may not see perfect agreement or coherence, but there should be some kind of insight.

Then get to a “so what”? Why is it interesting or important that you can put these two together in this way? What does it suggest about Cinderella, about us as readers, about what fairy tales do?

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