Robert Hall, M.A.
Susan J.Fernandez, Ph.D.
Raymond O. Arsenault, Ph.D.
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
The tale of Cinderella has made its way around the world for centuries, yet this highly recognizable plot continues to be a popular contemporary theme: a young girl cast into suffering, treated maliciously, and subjected to privation eventually is summoned to a regal existence. We easily identify the Cinderella character even in the guise of a mermaid in the film Splash; as a factory worker, who lives in a dull and lifeless town which replaces Cinderella's traditional ashen hearth, in An Officer and a Gentleman; or as a prostitute whose trick turns out to be Prince Charming in Pretty Woman. Unlike Cinderella, these women may not have evil stepmothers or glass slippers, yet they all find their way out of a miserable existence through men of status. Although these stories have stretched the short tale to movie length, they do not have the substance of traditional Cinderella tales.
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