Rhetoric and Composition 102
Alexandra DraginOctober 10, 2018
A Different View of Cinderella
The story of Cinderella is one of the most popular fairytales of our time. The story has been adapted to fit many cultures and languages, these recorded in stories and portrayed in movies as well. These different varieties of the famous fairytale are written and based on that culture and its society’s beliefs. Overall these versions have a similar ending in which Cinderella, who has lived a very though life due to her stepmother and or stepsister torments; has been rewarded with love and happiness. One version of the tale is from Russia titled “The Twelve Months” by Alexander Chodzko and another Native American version “The Algonquin Cinderella” compiled by Idries Shah. Both stories share similar sights in violence, nature and environment, and social class.
In the “The Twelve Months” tale, Marouckla has lived poorly and has been mistreated by her stepmother and stepsister Helen. Similarly, Oochigeaskw in “The Algonquin Cinderella”, has been abused by her two sisters. Both stories share violent acts which Marouckla and Oochigeaskw had to go through. “Hunger, every kind of privation, abuse, every means was used to make the girls life miserable” (Chodzko 189). Marouckla received threats from her stepmother and stepsister who demanded she fulfill their requests. On the other hand Oochigeaskw’s , “…wicked sister would burn her hands and feet with hot cinders and she was covered with scars from this treatment” (Shah 193). Even though both protagonists of the stories had horrible treatments, they remained calm and sweet and with no needs to reciprocate these actions.
Evidence of nature and environment where seen in both stories. Marouckla was sent to the mountains by her stepsister to find woo-violets, strawberries and lastly apples. Every time she was directed to the cold mountains for each of her sister’s demands, Marouckla stopped by The Twelve Months of The Year. She was afraid at first but had the courage and politely asked for warmth from the awful cold. January, the father of all months replied, “What brings thee here, my daughter? What dos thou seek?” (Chodzko 189). Marouckla’s first response, “I am looking for violets” (Chodzko 189). January tried to reason with the girl telling her that it was not the seasons for woo- violets but she insisted on where to find them because her stepsister threaten to kill her if she did not obey her orders. January then went to the youngest of the months; ‘Brother March, do thou take the highest place” (Chodzko 189). March then obeyed and snow melted, and the grass went green as it was spring, and meadows were filled with violets. Marouckla quickly gathered the violets thanked the Months and retuned home. Helen was surprised and sent Marouckla to the cold mountains with other two requests for strawberries and apples. The Twelve Months again helped Marouckla, brother June brought strawberries and wonderful September the apples she needed.
In Oochigeaskw story, the Invisible One could not be seen by any girl therefore none would be able to marry him. Girls would act as if they could see him, but his sister will then ask questions as to what they saw just to find out that they were not telling the truth then she would say, “Very well, let us return to the wigwam!” (Shah 193). “Poor little Oochigeaskw went in to the woods and got herself some sheets and made herself a dress” (Shah 194), she got dressed and even though her clothes were far from best she decided to go and see if she could see the Invisible One. The Invisible One ‘sled string was a rainbow and his bow-string as seen by Oochigeaskw, “It is the Spirit’s Road- the MilkyWay” (Shah 194). The Milky Way represents the relation between the sky and the ocean. Oochigeaskw was able to see the Invisible One at its finest and admire his wonderfulness. With her being able to see him, Oochigeaskw became this wife.
The final similarity in the stories is the view of social class dominance. In “The Twelve Months”, Marouckla is seen almost as the bastard child and being that her father passed away she has no one to care for her. With that said, the stepmother always dressed her daughter with the finest clothes and poor Marouckla did not complain but she didn’t understand why she was treated differently and so poorly.
In “The Algonquin Cinderella”, Oochigeaskw’s sisters would had the finest garments and tried to look their prettiest and poor girl was always barefoot. The father in this story doesn’t want to see that her little girl is being treated differently than the other too, so he does not say anything in regards her looks or questions her burns caused by her wicked sister. Even when she decided to go se the Invisible One, Oochigeanskw only had a few old rags and she even used her father’s old moccasins to try her luck with him. It was nice how the Invisible One’s sister did not care for her Oochigeanskw looks as, “she understood far more about thins than simply the mere outside which all the rest of the world knows” (Shah 194).
Even though “The Twelve Months” and “The Algonquin Cinderella are from two very different cultures, they share views in violence, nature and environment and social class dominance which were all present. Marouckla and Oochigeaskw managed to overcome their difficulties and ended up being happy and in love. Both these tales and many other Cinderella fairy tales share same social and personal values that are significant for every generation but it all comes too being caring with our fellow neighbor and respecting others that’s what’s most important.
Ford, Marjorie, and Jon Ford. “Dreams, Myths, and Fairy Tales.” Dreams and Inward Journeys: A Rhetoric and Reader for Writers. Boston: Pearson, 2012. N. pag. Print.