lunes, 19 de octubre de 2009

"A famous fairy tale analyzed by Propp's taxonomy"

" Cinderella or The Little Glass Slipper"
By Charles Perrault

Absentation: Cinderella's mother abandones her when she is a little child.

Interdiction: When Cinderella's godmother commands her not to stay past midnight, telling her at the same time, that if she stays one moment longer, the couch would be a pumpkin again, her clothes and each animal used for going at the ball would become just as they were before.

Violation of interdiction: As Cinderella enjoys dacing with the King's son, she does not realize what time it is. She thinks that it is eleven o'clock. Suddenly, the clock strikes twelve so she jumps up and fleeds as nimble as a deer.

Reconnaissance: After Cinderella’s mother dies, her father marries another woman with her own daughter. This is the first time Cinderella meets them. Her wicked stepmother has a strong power over the heroine’s father, so that she can control him.

Trickery: The stepsisters promise Cinderella to go to the ball if she helps them to choose the suitable clothes for the party, the hairstyle and the kind of jewels they are going to wear and so on. Cinderella manages to do whatever stepsisters want to. Few minutes later, stepsisters ask Cinderella if she would like to come with them and she accepts it. However, stepsisters tell her that she is not so elegant to go to such a place and people would laugh at her.

Complicity: Cinderella acts in a way that the evil stepmother and the wicked stepsisters take advantage of her shyness and force her to work hard, do difficult tasks and also deceive the prince when he gets their house to find the owner of the glass slipper.

Villiany and lack: The stepmother governes Cinderella’s father and he never protects her or defends her against his wife. She also causes harm over Cinderella because she suffers a lot.

Mediation: Cinderella realizes how things really are. She is conscious of her wicked stepsisters and stepmother’s performance.

Counter-action: The prince begins to try the glass slipper on the princesses, then the duchesses and all the court, but in vain. Then, the two Cinderella's stepsisters appears, who do all they possibly can to force their foot into the slipper, but they do not succeed. As Cinderella sees all this, and knows that it is her slipper, she asks for the prince to put it on her foot and it fits her perfectly well. Her stepsisters are astonished, then Cinderella pulls out of her pocket the other slipper and puts it on her other foot.

Departure: The heroine leaves the ball before midnight because she is afraid that the magic disappears.

Test: The fairy godmother (donor) helps Cinderella to fulfill her dream, providing her a beautiful dress, a pair of glass slippers, jewels, a carriage to go to the party by turning a pumpkin into a coach, a rat into a coachman, lizard into footmen and mice into horses. Besides, her godmother commands Cinderella not to stay past midnight.

Reaction of the hero: Cinderella promises to come back before midnight though she fails and forgets about it so she has to rush.

Magical gift: Cinderella's godmother gives her a pair of glass slippers, which will help her to be recognized by the prince.

Brand situation: Cinderella suffers a lot because of her stepmother and stepsisters who make her sleep in a sorry garret, on a wretched straw bed. Her stepmother employs Cinderella in the meanest work of the house and also leaves her at home while the ball is taking place.

Victory: Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters throw themselves at her feet to beg pardon for all ill treatment they make her. Finally, Cinderella defeats them since she gets married to the prince and both live happily in the palace.

Initial misfortune is solved: In spite of having many obstacles, Cinderella manges to attend to the royal festival and meets the prince who marries her lately.

Return: Cinderella comes back home after the ball and nobody suspects about her performance.

Rescue: Cinderella is given a beautiful dress and glass slippers to go to the ball. this helps the prince to know who belongs to.

Unrecognized: When Cinderella arrives at the ball, everyone stops dancing, and the violins cease to play. As she is beautifully dressed, nobody is able to recognize her.

False hero: Cinderella's stepsisters do all they possibly can to force their foot into the slipper, but they do not succeed.

Difficult task: When Cinderella asks her stepmother to go to the ball , the woman says she will go if she helps her as well as her stepsisters to decide on what kind of clothes, jewels and the hairstyle they should wear for the party. As she manages to do all perfectly well, she begins to prepare for the occassion, but her stepmother tells Cinderella that she can't go because she doesn't belong to the upper class as they do and people will laugh at her, too. When they leave, she starts to cry.

Solved task: As Cinderella's godmother sees her all in tears, she asks her what her trouble is. Cinderella explains to her that she wants to go to the ball, but she doesn't have suitable clothes for it. So her godmother fulfills her desire doing some magic. Few minutes later, Cinderella is the prettiest woman in the world.

Recognition: As Cinderella knows that she is the owner of the glass slipper, she tells the prince that he should try on her foot. The prince is astonished, however, he puts the glass slipper on her foot and it fits her very easily.
Then, her godmother comes in and touches her wand to Cinderella's clothes, making them richer and more significant than before. The prince recognizes her immidiately. She leaves with him dressed like an ordinary girl for he thinks she looks more charming. A few days later, they get married.

Unmask conspiracy: Both stepsisters are exposed and reported by two great lords of the court.

New appearance: Cinderella changes her look when attending to the royal festival, so that nobody is able to recognize her neither Her stepmother nor her stepsisters. They get astonished because of her beauty but they never imagine Cinderella is that pretty woman.

Punishment: There is not any punishment in Perrault's story, but Cinderella forgives her stepsisters with all her heart, and she also tells them that she wants to love her for ever.

Wedding at last: As Cinderella is the owner of the glass slipper, the pince announces her that he falls in love with her. Immidiately, he proposes her marriage and she accepts it. Thus, Cinderella gains the throne.

Vladimir Propp also includes seven kinds of characters in fairy tales:

The villian: Cinderella's stepmother mistreats her and forces her to do hard work all the time.

The donor: The fairy godmother gives Cinderella a beautiful dress, a pair of glass slippers, jewels, as well as the carriage to get to the palace.

The magical helper: The fairy godmother appears whenever she needs her.

The princess and her father: Cinderella is the one who marries the prince.

The dispatcher: There is not any dispatcher in Perrault's version. The prince announces that he wants to find out who the glass slipper belongs to. He goes at the palace where he tries the glass slipper on every person who meets by chance. Suddenly, Cinderella's stepsisters appear and try to put it on their foot but it does not fit them. As Cinderella sees all this, she closes to the prince and tells him that he should try the glass slipper on her foot. The prince is surprised but he does it and it fits perfectly well.

The hero or victim/seeker hero: In the end, Cinderella weds the prince.

False hero: Cinderella's stepsisters do all they can to force their foot into the slipper for they want to marry the prince, but they do not succeed.

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