Compare and contrast any two versions of a fairytale of your choice - the Brothers Grimm and Lin Lan versions of the story commonly known as Cinderella.

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Compare and contrast any two versions of a fairytale of your choice.

Fairytales occupy a very important part of both children’s literature and indeed their education. They can be fantastical and contain hidden morals which may be used by adults to warn children of dangers in society “the entire story is usually made to demonstrate a moral point” (Bottigheimer. 152). In today’s society fairytales are often associated with the polished Disney movies, such has been the amount made, especially over the past decade or so. It is worth noting that this ideal is far removed from a lot of the traditional versions, and “are traditional narratives deriving mostly from oral cultures” (Watson, ???, 246). These stories or tales started off as adults tales but were “adapted for publication with the genuine intention of making them available for children” (Watson, ???, 246).  

Cinderella is one of the oldest and most popular children’s fairytales, it has been incorporated into so many different versions and its appeal is not just restricted to western society but travels beyond all cultural boundaries and is truly universal. It is in this era of television, video and indeed the cinema the modern story of Cinderella has evolved. There have been over 50 film adaptations made since the first, ‘Méliés’, was made in 1899. (Zipes, 2000, ???) The fact that there have been “hundreds if not thousands of literary, dramatic, musical, poetic and cinematic versions” of this rags to riches story shows its endearing appeal throughout the centuries. (Zipes, J, 2000, ??) This appeal has even crossed over to adults’ as we can see from films such as ‘Pretty Woman’ in which the lead character has Cinderella-like qualities.  Common themes often associated with fairytales are love, heroism, loyalty, beauty (both aesthetic and inner), magic, tragedy, sibling rivalry and adversary. Due to the constraints of this essay I can explore only some of these themes, using the ‘Brothers Grimm’ and ‘Lin Lan ‘versions of the story commonly known as Cinderella. (Tatar. 1999)

No fairytale is complete without the theme of love. This theme is pertinent in the plot of all fairytales and the tale of Cinderella is no exception. The theme of love is evident in both the Brothers Grimm and Lin Lan version of this well-liked story. Both adaptations have a stereotypical happy ending with the heroine finding true love at the end of both stories. This happy ending presents itself in the Brothers Grimm version with the typical fairytale wedding in which Cinderella and her Prince are married. Similar to this, Lin Lan’s version tells of how Beauty’s true identity is revealed in the end to win back the heart of her love interest. However, although both stories have a happy ending this true love does not come easy and there are many obstacles along the way.

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One contrast between the two versions is that Brothers Grimm version portrays the stepsisters as beautiful and their “features were beautiful and white” [117]. This explains why towards the end of the tale the Prince might believe that they might be his Cinderella. The Brothers Grimm attempt to portray that while all the sisters are quite beautiful it is only Cinderella that possesses inner beauty and that her two stepsisters, although beautiful, their hearts are “fowl and black”. [117] Lin Lan’s version is similar to the perception we hold today in which Beauty’s stepsister, by virtue of her given name, ...

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