December 2, 2010
Summary Final of “Cinderella: Not So Morally Superior” (Panttaja 644-647)
In her article, “Cinderella: Not So Morally Superior,” Elisabeth Panttaja (644-647) argues that Cinderella is not the motherless, good hearted, and honest character that she is portrayed to be. Panttaja believes Cinderella’s mother has a main role in the story, and that Cinderella is a lying, deceiving, and serpentine character.
In almost every Cinderella story, Cinderella is thought to be completely absent. However, according to Panttaja, her mother plays a key role in Cinderella’s future, and in the story’s moral. Although Cinderella’s mother seems to be dead, it is she who holds the most power within the story. Her mother, using her magical powers, is constantly in a competition to overpower and overcome all forces that are against Cinderella, whether it be Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters plans to hold her back, or the prince trying to identify who she really is.
In Cinderella stories, Cinderella’s mother has always presumably been good, and her stepmother appears to be evil. The fact that most fail to realize, as pointed by the author, is that these two mothers want the same things: they both want the best future for their daughters, and both mothers are willing to do anything to ensure that it happens. It is, however, Cinderella’s mother who surpasses and comes in first place.
Panttaja believes Cinderella succeeds in winning the prince’s hand at the ball not because of the goodness of her character, but because she was able to stay loyal to her mother. By doing this her mother rewards her by giving her the most beautiful appearance in the entire kingdom. Cinderella succeeds through her mother’s magic, deceit, lies, and disguises.
In terms of the prince, it is Cinderella’s mother who ultimately decides which girl in the kingdom he should choose. He does not marry Cinderella out of love, her pity or her true...