The differences between “Cinderella” stories are caused by the particular historical context of when they were produced. First, a very blatant variation between the Grimm version and the Perrault version is the fate the step sisters suffer at the end of the stories. In the former’s version, “for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness as long as they lived.” (Grimm) while in the latter’s version “[Cinderella] forgave them with all her heart, and wanted them always to love her.”(Perrault). Another difference between these stories is that a godmother is present in the Perrault story working miracles while birds are doing the same in the Grimm version. These variations in the tales can be explained as religion was way more present in the time of Perrault’s story furthermore explaining the presence of forgiveness and a godmother. When the Grimm brother wrote their story, Europe was going through tough timed which are expressed in the story through the dark ending (Aubin et al.). All of these variations show how the time in which each story was written, impacted its content.
Cinderella’s slipper is symbolic as it shows the importance of religion in the stories. In the Disney and Perrault tales, Cinderella’s slipper is in glass and in the Grimm version her slipper is silver at first, representing purity. The purity demonstrated by the slippers can be linked to chastity, which is one of the 7 Christian virtues. Later on in Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s Cinderella, her slippers become “of pure gold” (Grimm) symbolizing faith and loyalty (Przybyla) , most probably towards God, once again proving the impact religion had in these different versions. Although the slippers are in different materials in some of the different versions, their symbol always comes back to the same thing, religion which demonstrates the impact it had on the time of the stories.
There are different indicators as to when and where the various “Cinderella” stories take place. In the Disney version, we can interpret that the story took place around the 19th century, as the king asks the prince and Cinderella to dance to the waltz, which only became popular in that timeframe (Waltz). As for the place, it must be a kingdom in Europe, the hint is given by there being a duke which were only present in Europe. In Perrault’s version, indications such as “Mademoiselle de la Poche” (Perrault) show us that the story most probably takes place in France. Also, the strong presence of religion with the message that nothing is attainable “without the blessing of a godmother or godfather” (Perrault) leads us to think that the story was written around the 17th century during Louis XIV’s reign, who highly praised God (Louis XIV). In the Grimm version, we know the story takes place around “the king’s castle” (Grimm) but it is difficult to tell where but knowing that “a dim little oil-lamp” is in the story we can say that it took place many years back. Finally, through various historical elements in these works we can approximate the time and place in which these stories take place.
Our world today is one filled with hate, wars and individuals seeking vengeance. Although we are taught to live in peace with the world, the majority of people will always seek to even their scores with others who are giving them a hard time. When looking around, all we see are wars being answered with wars and hate being answered with hate, but if we were to be more loving and caring individuals, we would all live much happier lives, showing furthermore how everyone ends up getting what they give. In Walt Disney’s “Cinderella”, we see through Cinderella’s eventual happiness and her step-sisters bitterness that what goes around comes around and it is pointless to waste time on revenge.