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Cinderella - a Christian message?

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Cinderella Cinderella affects our unconscious mind, taking us through the experience of emotional suffering innate to every human being, on the way to spiritual wholeness, or individuation. The fairytale uses Christian symbolism throughout, i.e. tears and prayers to make the tree grow which bears the fruit of a beautiful dress, which symbolises her readiness to be the bride of the prince. Cinderella fetches water and stokes the fire symbolising baptism, which Christ uses as a symbol of the crucifixion. 'I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed'1. Cinderella suffers in order to be made whole, as Christ suffers to be made 'perfect'. Cinderella's sufferings are those of a human awakening which stimulates feelings of degradation: s****l awareness. Christ's suffering is the experience of God becoming human, Holy becoming sinful, Righteous becoming wretched, Divine becoming mortal, and is therefore also an experience of 'degradation'. Becoming whole for Cinderella involves marrying the prince and becoming one flesh. This biblical principle originating from the Pentateuch emphasises both male and female were created in God's image. God is therefore male and female. This masculine/feminine philosophy is also the substance of mankind being reconciled to God through Christ. In Revelation2 those with faith in Jesus are described as the bride of Christ, whereas all believers, both male and female are also said to be 'sons'3. In this essay I will examine Christian analogy and s****l awakening in the story of Cinderella in order to show how the two subjects are intertwined and to illustrate the role suffering plays in Cinderella's transformation process. It is clear from the opening sentences in Grimm's 'Cinderella' that there is a Christian message to be savoured. ...read more.


It is said at the beginning of the story that the stepsisters have lovely faces but 'ugly hearts'. The story is therefore also reassuring to the young lady who does not consider her self to possess exterior beauty or s****l attraction. With a beautiful heart she is still a princess. This principle will be of immense value to children who have suffered intense emotional pain. A little girl who has been s******y abused, for example, putting herself in the role of Cinderella, will see that even though she has been made to feel 'dirty' she is still a beautiful princess, attractive to a man, and most importantly, loved by God. Shakespeare expressed the 'shadow' concept in his play 'Richard 3rd'. Richard was historically supposed to have been physically deformed. Shakespeare uses his exterior deformity to portray his 'ugly heart'. As he uses the storm in 'Lear' to portray externally what is happening internally. 'The tempest of my mind' explains the turbulent King. In his opening soliloquy, Richard says 'I have no delight to pass away the time unless to spy mine own shadow in the sun and descant on mine own deformity'. Shakespeare is implicating how we can see our true inner self when the darkness of our shadow is exposed to the light. This may also refer to the light/darkness motif prevalent in John's gospel, 'people preferred darkness because their deeds were evil'. The sun Shakespeare is referring to may be the Son of God, and the light therefore the light of Christ. 'I am the Light of the World'15. As the prince saw Cinderella in her most degraded state, so omniscient God sees mankind in his most degraded state. ...read more.


Like Jesus, in her lowest state and in her deepest pain Cinderella cries out to God with tears and prayers. 'During the days of Jesus life on earth (in his degraded state) he offered up prayers and petitions to God with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission' (Hebrews 5:7). 'Call me, and I will answer You,'(Jeremiah 31:33). As the beautiful phoenix rises out of the ashes, Cinderella rises from her ashes to beauty. As Christ rises from the cross, from the depth of suffering, Cinderella rises, from the depth of her suffering, from her fears. Perfect love casts out fear. Perfect love is unconditional love - knowing that we are loved by God in our abysmal humanity. The crucifixion of Christ is said to be the act of perfect love. 'This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us'24. The kiss of the prince is symbolic of the eternal embrace the Father gives his prodigal son. Cinderella, through suffering, wears her beautiful dress, and marries her prince. And we humans, through Christ's suffering, become 'dressed in fine linen white and clean'25, and are reconciled to God. 1 Luke 12:50 2 Revelation 17:4 3 Romans 8:14/Galatians 3:26 4 Revelation 17:14 5 Ephesians 5:25 6 In the Old Testament Israel is described as the 'wife of Jehovah'. 7 Revelation 19:7 8 Ephesians 5:31 9 Hebrews 10:10/14) 10 On Jung, Stevens p41 11 John 19:30 12 Romans 3:25 13 1 Peter 3:3/4 14 1 Corinthians 4:5 15 John 8:12 16 The Uses of Enchantment p274 17 Clinical Theology p9-10 18 John 3:19-21 19 2 Corinthians 5:17 20 The Uses of Enchantment p270 21 ibid. 22 Romeo and Juliet 23 Matthew 26:53 24 1 John 3:16 25 Revelation 19:14 5 1 ...read more.

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