Category Archives: Cinderella

The Egyptian Cinderella

Here is an alternate version to The typical Cinderella story it is called The Egyptian Cinderella written by Shirley Climo : click links to see source.

This Egyptian spin on the classic Cinderella tale was initially recorded in the first century by a Roman historian and is retold here by folklorist Shirley Climo.

Poor Rhodopis! She has nothing—no mother or father, and no friends. She is a slave, from the far-off country of Greece. Only the beautiful rose-red slippers her master gives her can make Rhodopis smile.

So when a falcon swoops down and snatches one of the slippers away, Rhodopis is heartbroken. For how is she to know that the slipper will land in the lap of the great Pharaoh himself? And who would ever guess that the Pharaoh has promised to find the slipper’s owner and make her queen of all Egypt?”

Book source:




Transitive verb

Eluded – to escape the perception, understanding, or grasp of, subtlety simply eludes them, victory continued to elude us


I encountered this word from the reading, called “Cinderella”, written by Jacob, and Wilhelm Grimm, also known as the Grimm Brothers. I encountered the word on page 2, the third to last paragraph. The word came from the sentences “However, she eluded him and jumped into the pigeon coop”. I came to an understanding that  this word means to escape, or avoid a bad situation. In the story the prince try to escort Cinderella on her way out, but by avoiding that she jumped into the pigeon coop. She eluded him because she didn’t want him to find out who she is. In this case eluded was used to describe Cinderella trying to avoid getting caught.


The Wicked Stepmother

When reading “ The Wicked Stepmother,” I came across a lot of unfamiliar aspects in the story. Usually any regular Cinderella story would have a girl that just lives with her father because her mother has passed and the father usually gets married to the stepmother who is usually wicked. The the father passes and leaves the daughter with the stepmother and Wicked step sisters. The daughter basically is being mistreated the whole time growing up until she finds happiness. This Indian version is completely different from what I know and grew up watching. In the story the mother and father make a promise to each other to never each without being in each other presence. If this prom is was broken then the mother would turn into a goat and the father would turn into a tiger. The mother one day was feeding her child and took a little taste of the food and she turned into a goat. When the dad returned home he came to the realization that she had broke her promise. Something that was different compared to any other Cinderella story is that the mother was actually there in the story. After the incident eventually the father remarried which wasn’t a surprised. The children weren’t being fed as they were suppose to so they went to their mother, the goat, to get food and the stepmother wondered why they were getting so strong when they were barley fed. This was familiar because usually the stepmother mistreats the fathers child. Eventually the stepmother finds out the children’s were getting fed by the mother so she ordered the husband to bring her some goat meat and he didn’t have enough money to buy a goat so he had to kill his wife which was the goat in the backyard. Towards the end of the story one of the siblings ends up marrying a king so the story has a happy ending which is usually how Cinderella story ends.

Experiencing the Style of Narrations


  • What effect does the style of narration have on your experience of the plot or characters? Use two different styles to reflect on this, using any of the stories we have read this semester.

The style of narration allows us to experience a story in a certain way. From the readings we have done so far there has been a few different styles of narration and each one is unique and gives us different emotions due to their uniqueness. Two stories that I’ve read with totally different forms of narrations are, Bia Lowe’s “I Always Write about My Mother When I Start to Write,” and Aarne Thompson’s “The Wicked Stepmother.” Bia Lowe’s story was in the first person point of view which helps us get inside the head of the narrator whom is the main character. This allows us as the readers especially for me to try to imagine what character is witnessing as well as experiencing rather than an outsiders view. For example, the narrator makes mention of “She is in every way my female deity,” “I was suddenly seized with a desire to court her,” and of much more of his emotions that occurred to him but makes us the readers feel/understand his emotions, somewhat like justifying how he feels about his mothers. In other words, Bia Lowe’s “I Always Write about My Mother When I Start to Write,” made me feel like I was part of the story and connect to why he may have felt a certain way or described somethings in such strange details. However, on the other hand, Aarne Thompson’s story “The Wicked Stepmother,” which is the Indian version of Cinderella was a third person point of view. This was very different because it was more of being told about something, the whole story was more of someone else’s experience being told to me rather than me experiencing what the character was feeling. I found it harder to connect to “The Wicked Stepmother” by Thompson more than “I Always Write About My Mother When I Start to Write” by Lowe because I wasn’t “in the footsteps of the character but rather I was the observer/watcher. For example, Thompson  mentions “That very moment she was changed into a goat,” upon reading this I did not feel that shocking emotion but rather it was more of “oh okay.” I feel like it the story was in a first-person narrative it would have made me feel more connected to the story than just an observer or someone who’s just reading it. If the situation was “That very moment I changed into a goat,” that feels more vivid and makes you feel apart of the story rather than being told it. In short, the style of narration effects the reader’s experience of the story, it’s like living and experiencing it or being told by someone else experience. (“The Wicked StepMother” By Aarne-Thompson


“Tam and Cam” (Vietnam)

I read the story of “Tam and Cam”, a Cinderella story taking place in Vietnam. Over the years, I’ve read a few versions of Cinderella stories, and all of them usually contain a plot with a happy ending and no violence involved. However, “Tam and Cam” is very different from other versions. In this story, the Cinderella character, Tam, experiences many violent and gruesome obstacles in her quest to achieve a better future. A common Cinderella tradition that is followed in this story is how Tam meets her husband at the festival, where she loses one of her shoes. An interesting thing about this story is that the Cinderella character is killed multiple times by the step-mother and step-sister. This never happens to the Cinderella character in other stories.

First, the step-mother asks Tam to climb a tree and collect the best nuts to prepare an offering on her father’s death anniversary. During, the climb, the step-mother chops the tree and Tam falls into a deep pond and drowns. However, as this story focuses strongly on reincarnation, Tam is reborn as a nightingale bird and flies off to her husband’s castle. At the castle, Tam’s step-sister, Cam who is now the wife of the king, discovers that Tam is still alive in a bird form. Eventually, Tam is killed again, and her feathers allow her to be reincarnated into a tree. Afterwards, Tam is reincarnated into a fruit, which is given to an old lady who keeps and cares for the fruit. This fruit eventually reincarnates Tam back into human form.

The most gruesome part of this story happens when Cam was surprised by Tam’s beauty and wanted to learn how to become beautiful like her. Tam saw this as a perfect way to finally get revenge and told Cam to get in a hole, which she filled up with boiling water. Eventually, Tam made a sauce out of Cam’s body and sent it to her step-mother, who ended up eating it till she found a skull in the bottom and died from the shock.

West African Cinderella

I really did enjoy this Cinderella adaptation, it definitely fulfilled many of the aspects of what makes a story uniquely a Cinderella tale. The Cinderella character, Chinye, was inherently good, what I liked about this version is that Chinye’s only physical description was that she looked like her mother, usually her character is described as being extremely beautiful instigating jealousy from her stepmother. Another aspect of a Cinderella story that this one had was the abusive stepmother and step sister who would torment the protagonist. However, something that stood out in this version was that unlike in many Cinderella stories Chinye’s father was still alive while her stepmother abused her. The only mention of her father though was at the beginning when he is described as marrying the stepmother and at the end when he is chasing after her when she is bombarded with hornets. This could be telling that men in these kinds of households do not actually have much involvement with the raising of children. There is also an animal that serves to help the protagonist in this version of Cinderella, instead of rats being transformed into horses it is a single flamingo that just happens to talk. There was no ball or prince charming or magical outfit change in this version. But there is the fairy god mother character who was the woman who lived in a hut in this story, there is a greater theme that can be taken from this adaptation beyond the usual Cinderella stories of “what goes around comes around”. But also to respect and listen to your elders, Chinye helped clean the elderly womans home and listened to her advise, to only pick up the tiniest gourds and to break them when she got home. Chinye followed the directions and was pleasantly rewarded when she cracked open the gourds to receive pearls and luxurious jewels. Whereas, when Chinye’s stepsister was sent to the old woman’s house and was advised not to pick up the big gourds, she disobeyed. And when the step sister broke open the large gourds she and her mother were attacked by hornets.

 “Cinderella” Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

I have read the “Cinderella” (Aschenputtel) from Germany, written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. The familiar aspect of this story, is that the beginning it started out that Cinderella mother die, and she had to live and deal with her father new wife, which is her step mother, and the step mother had two daughter. It was similar to the original version, because the step mother and both of the step sister are evil , jealous, greedy, and they would mistreat Cinderella.  The unfamiliar part of this “Cinderella” story is that instead of the fairy god mother helping Cinderella making her wishes come true, it was a white bird/pigeon that grant her all the wishes. Something I’ve notice at the beginning was before her mother die she told Cinderella that ” I will look down on you from heaven and be near you”, and from there  on she was always watch by the bird/pigeon on the tree that she planted on her mother grave, and the bird/pigeon was helping, and granting her wishes. Therefore I believe that the bird/pigeon is her mother who’s looking over her. The most surprising and shocking part about this “Cinderella” story was the step mother telling the two step sister to cut off their toes, and heels in order to fit their feet into the gold shoes. Another shocking part was at the end of the story the two step sister had their eyes pecked out by the pigeon. It was surprising to me that in a “Cinderella” story there would be horror. This is different from the original “Cinderella” because the step sister were punish for their jealousy, greediness, and wickedness. The values, and cultural concept of “Cinderella” came from the Ancient Egypt, and the night-teen century China. The story was told and pass from generation to generation, and the moral/lesson that it’s trying to teach is social and political. The story taught me about karma, due to the fact that the step sister were wicked, greedy, and full of falsehood, and in the end they were punish for it, so I truly think karma plays a huge part in the story. I do favor this version of “Cinderella” over the original, because it is more interesting, and the fact that the step sister gets their eyes peck out as a punishment makes it seem fair for how they were treating Cinderella.

Cinderella Stories


When I think about Cinderella as a story, I expect it to include:

  • happy ending (for whom?): for everyone, or just for her (and if so, a bad ending for the others, or is she benevolent to them?)
  • Cinderella character = stepdaughter (protagonist) marries royalty/nobility
  • Cinderella character is inherently good despite mistreatment
  • tragic past for C
  • C faces hardships
  • always a villain
  • C mistreated by family (stepmother, step sisters)
  • father remarrying after his wife (C’s mother) dies
  • C meets a man and falls in love
  • karma!
  • Animals help out!
  • someone mentors/looks out for her
  • Readers sympathize with her
  • something left behind (shoe, jewelry)
  • magic! and it has guidelines and restrictions
  • magic ends (at midnight?)
  • turning the other cheek–she doesn’t do the same to them as they do to her, doesn’t complain
  • C doesn’t tell father/doesn’t have access to him
  • C forced to do heavy chores that other don’t have to do
  • do they go to a ball/some kind of event geared toward marriage
  • violent/gruesome


While reading Tam and Cam I expected a traditional story very similar to the American version of Cinderella but to my surprise it was quite funny and plot twisting. It was interesting that the author decided to have tam reincarnate and be re joined with her beloved husband. One familiarity I did notice was the festival or big gala that unites the prince and soon to be princess also the way they meet through the fitting of a shoe/slipper. Essentially another aspect of the story that was familiar to me was the fact common (to some) tradition that cultures like these tend to have tales that would involve animals with them playing a big role. For example, towards the end of the story the bird ended up coming back to speak with the step mother to remind her that she was, in fact, eating her daughter when she ate the mam. What I understand from Vietnams culture after reading this story is that reincarnation is a belief and that maybe karma is in fact a bitch. They value hard work and believe you will receive what you give I.e tam was a hardworking girl who did nothing but try to keep her step mother happy, tam need up In a happy mirage with riches while the step mother and sister were mean miserable people who made tams life a living hell so they where gifted death at the end. I especially enjoyed reading tam reincarnation into different things and still ending up by her husbands side happy beautiful and young; right when you think the story is over tam comes back and gets what she rightfully deserves. This version of Cinderella  is far more interesting, entertaining than the American version which in my opinion is practicable. Reading tam and cam I did not know what was coming next. 

The Hidden One by Aaron Shepard

What I appreciate about the different tales of Cinderella is that they’re adapted to fit the needs of its culture but that they’re also similar enough to convey the same theme. The fairytale I’ve grown up listening to is the one in which the princess is tortured by the stepmother but eventually pursued romantically because of a lost glass slipper. Therefore, by reading different versions I’ve become more aware of the unimportance of the circumstances, but rather the priority to bring to the attention an unappreciated noble soul. In the tale, “The Hidden One” by Aaron Shepard rather than having a stepmother who tortured the cinderella of the story, it was the doings of the jealous older sister who made her miserable by abusing her physically and emotionally.In addition to those differences, the father is still alive and the “prince” of the story is a hunter who is hidden to everyone except his sister and his future bride. I like this tale most when compared to other fairy tales of cinderella because there was more of an emphasis on the goodness of her soul. However, this isn’t meant to belittle any appreciation of Cinderella’s character in the other fairy tales, but in most the beauty of her soul correlates with her physical beauty. In “The hidden one” her nobility determines her fate when she’s able to see the invisible hunter. In other words, the hunter’s sister had seen the beauty within Cinderella while she physically looked the worst version of herself. This comes to show how a good heart inevitably trumps physical appearance. Therefore, Like many other tales, the antagonists corrupted heart never stood a chance in overpowering Cinderella’s authenticity and good nature. Regardless, it was interesting to read a different version of Cinderella with the same message but a different plot.