Charles Perrault is one of the most famous fairy tale writers, popular among children. Just like the Grimm brothers and Hans Christian Andersen, as well as many other well-known fairy tale writers, he found inspiration for his stories in folk literature.
To many great fairy tale writers, Perrault himself was a role model. His work has been rewritten many times by various authors, often using more soft elements to make his stories more appropriate to children, because Perrault never hesitated to include some rather creepy motives in his books. However, to this day, his fairy tales have remained kids’ favorite, mostly because they are picturesque with interesting characters.
“Cinderella” is a famous fairy tale that almost every child knows. It is a timeless story of the jealousy and innocence of a young girl mistreated by her stepmother and older stepsisters. This is the story that has won the hearts of many generations by teaching them that being humble will make them rise and win and that being good and kind will not only be recognized but also rewarded.
Cinderella, as a character, is the embodiment of modesty and diligence. She’s a girl who hasn’t lost her kindness even after her mother’s death or after the cruelty from her stepmother and stepsisters. She tolerated everything patiently. Still, what changed her life was a rebellion, a violation of the rules. Although she was forbidden to going to the ball, she did it with the help of her fairy godmother. At the ball, she met Prince Charming who immediately fell in love with her. She was the only one in the kingdom who could win his heart.
The shoe symbol, which we first associate with Cinderella, tells us that there is only one person we can love. Although we may pretend, the heart always knows the truth. A shoe that fits a single leg is a metaphor for the unique love we can only get from one, special person.
Time: once upon a time
Place: Cinderella’s house, Castle
Theme: The story of a prince who sought his beloved with a shoe that only her foot could fit
Idea: The right person will recognize our worth no matter how bad the circumstances we live in
Once upon a time, there was a nobleman who, after the death of his first wife, remarried, an evil woman who already had two daughters from her first marriage. The nobleman also had a daughter from his first marriage, but unlike her new stepsisters, she was kind and beautiful, the same as her mother was.
Right after the wedding, the stepmother showed her real face, forcing her to do all the hard work around the house and to sleep in the attic. Despite her misery, the girl endured everything as she didn’t want to say anything and complain about how her new stepmother’s treating her to her father because, after some time, he was also afraid of her.
All she could do is do what she’s been told and sit by the fireplace every night, which caused her stepsisters to give her a nickname Cinderella. Although she was wearing old, dirty clothes, she was still more beautiful than her sisters.
One day, the king organized a ball for his son and invited all of the nobility. The two stepsisters were looking forward to go to the dance, made their hair and bought the most beautiful dresses. Cinderella, selflessly, helped them get dressed secretly wanting to go to the ball like every other girl. But because of having nothing to wear except for the old clothes and rags, she couldn’t go anywhere. Her stepsisters made fun of her and said that there’s no room for someone who’s all covered with ash at the ball. When the big day finally arrived, her stepsisters went to the ball and Cinderella said goodbye to them in tears.
Her fairy godmother saw her crying and she felt pity for Cinderella. The poor girl told her she wanted to go to the ball, so the godmother decided to help her. First, she sent the girl to the garden to get a pumpkin which then she carved and magically made a beautiful carriage of it.
After that, Cinderella had to bring a mousetrap where 6 mice were caught, and the fairy godmother turned them into horses. The lizards that Cinderella found were turned into servants.
Cinderella was still wearing filthy clothes so the fairy godmother made her a beautiful dress with just one touch of her magic wand. Nicely dressed, Cinderella was ready for the ball. The fairy godmother reminded her that she can’t stay after midnight because that’s when her magic will disappear and everything will turn to as it was – carriage will become a pumpkin, the horses will be turned to mice, servants into lizards and Cinderella will be dressed in the same old, dirty clothes she was wearing before.
When she arrived, Prince Charming spotted her immediately and was dazzled by her beauty. Cinderella danced with him, sat at the table with her stepsisters, shared lemons and oranges with them, but the stepsisters didn’t recognize her. Only a few minutes before midnight, Cinderella said goodbye to everyone and went home.
When she came home, she thanked the fairy godmother and said that she would also like to go to the dance tomorrow because the prince invited her. Later on, the stepsisters returned from the ball and told the story about a beautiful girl they saw at the ball, not knowing it was Cinderella.
The next day, Cinderella asked one of her stepsisters to lend her the yellow dress she could wear to the dance, but the stepsister was disgusted by the idea of landing something to Cinderella. The godmother had to step in one more time.
Cinderella was having such a wonderful time at the ball that she had forgotten about the time. The midnight clock made her run, but her shoe fell off and the prince found it. A search for the girl who lost the shoe started, but nobody knew where the beautiful girl went. The guards said they only saw a peasant girl flee, but not a princess.
The prince announced that he will marry the girl who the shoe fits perfectly. The servants carried the shoe all around the kingdom and when they got to the house where Cinderella lived her stepsisters hurried to try on the shoe but it didn’t fit.
When Cinderella asked if she could try it, that made the stepsisters laugh. The nobleman in charge of the shoe said that the prince ordered that every girl needs to try on the shoe. It was a perfect fit for Cinderella.
The stepsisters were even more shocked when Cinderella pulled the other shoe out of her pocket. After that, the fairy godmother appeared and made Cinderella a dress even more beautiful than the one she wore at the ball.
The stepsisters realized how mean they were and asked Cinderella for her forgiveness. She forgave them everything and when she married the prince she settled her stepsisters in the castle and helped them get married for the noblemen that lived there.
Characters: Cinderella, stepsisters, fairy godmother, prince, stepmother
Cinderella is a modest and good girl that early lost her mother. Her father married another woman. Unfortunately, she was a real example of an evil stepmother. She made Cinderella do all the hard work around the house, but Cinderella was diligent and she didn’t mind doing it. She kept trying to be good with her new mother and her daughters, but they refused her. Despite her position, chores and the place where she was forced to reside, she was still the most beautiful among the daughters. Fortunately, she had a fairy godmother, who helped her make her wishes come true. She won the prince with her beauty but remained modest and humble. She didn’t hold a grudge and didn’t take revenge on his stepsisters although she had a chance. When they prayed for forgiveness, she was gracious and forgave them everything they did to her. That way she could enjoy life with her prince and live happily ever after.
Stepmother is an evil woman. Before the wedding, she pretended to be good, to win a wealthy husband and to take care of herself and daughter. She acted arrogantly toward everyone, especially toward Cinderella. She turned her into a maid. She was jealous of her beauty and youth, so she gave her difficult tasks forcing her to sleep in the ashes. Stepmother wanted one of her daughters to marry a prince, so she also tortured them. Her daughters were also victims of their mother. After Cinderella became queen, she could not bear her luck again. That’s why she was expelled from the castle.
Charles Perrault Biography
Charles Perrault (1628. – 1703.) was born in Paris to a wealthy family as the seventh child. His father was very strict and imposed a particular kind of education upon him, so he decided to study law. When he finished school, he got a job in the public service.
Many consider him to be the founder of the most popular genre – fairy tale stories. He took his inspiration out of folks tales. Some of them were carried mouth to mouth, so the Grimm brothers also rewrote some of them. The fairy tale stories that Charles made famous are Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, and Puss in Boots.
This famous writer published another interesting book, called Tales of Mother Goose. It consisted of 8 fairy tale stories.
Charles published his work under the name of his son. His stories were so popular that they were adapted and screened. The first fairy tale The Sleeping Beauty was published in 1969.
Charles was considered to be one of the most influential people in the 17th century and a fighter for the younger generations. At this time there was a conflict between the older generation who believed that people should stick to the traditional way of writing and the young generation who were fighting for a new, fresh way of writing.