Variants of the story are also found in many ethnic groups in China. The existing version of the Japanese tale dates back only the 13th century, but mention of it occurs in the early 11th-century Genji Monogatari Tale of Genji. Sumiyoshi refers to a village and a shrine in the Osaka area.
There in the shrine the Cinderella figure has taken refuge, when her lover, following a dream, is reunited with her. In some of these, the siblings are female, while in others, they are male. One of the tales, "Judar and His Brethren", departs from the happy endings of previous variants and reworks the plot to give it a tragic ending instead, with the younger brother being poisoned by his elder brothers. She finally reunited with the king and lived happily ever after. The first written European version of the story was published in Napoli Naples , Italy, by Giambattista Basile , in his Pentamerone The story itself was set in the Kingdom of Naples , at that time the most important political and cultural center of Southern Italy and among the most influential capitals in Europe, and written in the Neapolitan dialect.
The name "Cenerentola" comes from the Italian word "cenere" ash, cinder. It has to do with the fact that servants and scullions were usually soiled with ash at that time, because of their cleaning work and also because they had to live in cold basements so they usually tried to get warm by sitting close to the fireplace. Giambattista Basile , an Italian soldier and government official, assembled a set of oral folk tales into a written collection titled Lo cunto de li cunti The Story of Stories , or Pentamerone. It included the tale of Cenerentola, which features a wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters, magical transformations, a missing slipper, and a hunt by a monarch for the owner of the slipper.
It was published posthumously in One of the most popular versions of Cinderella was written in French by Charles Perrault in , under the name Cendrillon ou la petite pantoufle de verre. The popularity of his tale was due to his additions to the story, including the pumpkin , the fairy-godmother and the introduction of "glass" slippers.
The first moral of the story is that beauty is a treasure, but graciousness is priceless. Without it, nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything. However, the second moral of the story mitigates the first one and reveals the criticism that Perrault is aiming at: That "without doubt it is a great advantage to have intelligence, courage, good breeding, and common sense. These, and similar talents come only from heaven, and it is good to have them.
However, even these may fail to bring you success, without the blessing of a godfather or a godmother. Another well-known version was recorded by the German brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the 19th century. The tale is called "Aschenputtel" "Cinderella" in English translations. This version is much more intense than that of Perrault and Disney, in that Cinderella's father did not die and the stepsisters mutilate their feet to fit in the golden slipper. There is no fairy godmother, but rather help comes from a wishing tree that the heroine planted on her mother's grave.
In the second edition of their collection , the Grimms supplemented the original version with a coda in which the stepsisters suffer a terrible punishment for their cruelty. Aschenputtel's relationship with her father in this version is ambiguous; Perrault 's version states that the absent father is dominated by his second wife, explaining why he does not prevent the abuse of his daughter. However, the father in this tale plays an active role in several scenes, and it is not explained why he tolerates the mistreatment of his child.
He also describes Aschenputtel as his "first wife's child" and not his own. In some versions, her father plays an active role in the humiliation of his daughter; in others, he is secondary to his new wife, Cinderella's stepmother; in some versions, especially the popular Disney film , Cinderella's father has died and so has Cinderella's mother.
Although many variants of Cinderella feature the wicked stepmother, the defining trait of type A is a female persecutor: in Fair, Brown and Trembling and Finette Cendron , the stepmother does not appear at all, and it is the older sisters who confine her to the kitchen. In other fairy tales featuring the ball, she was driven from home by the persecutions of her father, usually because he wished to marry her.
In La Cenerentola , Gioachino Rossini inverted the sex roles: Cenerentola is oppressed by her stepfather. This makes the opera Aarne-Thompson type B.
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He also made the economic basis for such hostility unusually clear, in that Don Magnifico wishes to make his own daughters' dowries larger, to attract a grander match, which is impossible if he must provide a third dowry. Folklorists often interpret the hostility between the stepmother and stepdaughter as just such a competition for resources, but seldom does the tale make it clear.
The number of balls varies, sometimes one, sometimes two, and sometimes three.
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The fairy godmother is Perrault's own addition to the tale. Aschenputtel requests her aid by praying at her grave, on which a tree is growing. Helpful doves roosting in the tree shake down the clothing she needs for the ball. Playwright James Lapine incorporated this motif into the Cinderella plotline of the musical Into the Woods. Giambattista Basile 's Cenerentola combined them; the Cinderella figure, Zezolla, asks her father to commend her to the Dove of Fairies and ask her to send her something, and she receives a tree that will provide her clothing.
In "The Anklet", it's a magical alabaster pot the girl purchased with her own money that brings her the gowns and the anklets she wears to the ball. Gioachino Rossini , having agreed to do an opera based on Cinderella if he could omit all magical elements, wrote La Cenerentola , in which she was aided by Alidoro, a philosopher and formerly the Prince's tutor. The midnight curfew is also absent in many versions; Cinderella leaves the ball to get home before her stepmother and stepsisters, or she is simply tired.
In the Grimms' version, Aschenputtel slips away when she is tired, hiding on her father's estate in a tree, and then the pigeon coop, to elude her pursuers; her father tries to catch her by chopping them down, but she escapes.
I've forgotten my spectacles. They are probablv shut up in that volume of Herbert on my table. Very awkward to find myself without them ten miles away. Thank you, John. Don't neglect to water the lettuce,Nan, and don't overwork yourself, my little 'Martha. At this juncture Solon suddenly went off, like "Mrs. Gamp," in a sort of walking swoon, apparently deaf and blind to all mundane matters, except the refreshments awaiting him ten miles away; and the benign old pastor disappeared, humming "Hebron" to the creaking accompaniment of the bulgy chaise.
Laura retired to take her siesta; Nan made a small carbon arrow of herself by sharpening her sister's crayons, and Di, as a sort of penance for past sins, tried her patience over a piece of knitting, in which she soon originated a somewhat remarkable pattern, by dropping every third stitch, and seaming ad libitum.
If John bad been a gentlemanly creature, with refined tastes, he would have elevated his feet and made a nuisance of himself by indulging in a "weed;"but being only an uncultivated youth, with a rustic regard for pure air and womankind in general, he kept his head uppermost, and talked like a man, instead of smoking like a chimney. How glad you must feel to hear it! Nan sighed, as she thought of these things, and John regarded the battered thimble on his finger-tip with increased benignity of aspect as he heard the sound.
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The color sprang up into the young man's cheek, his eyes looked out with a sudden shine,and his hand seemed involuntarily to close, as if he saw and seized some invisible delight. Di looked at him, with a knitting-needle stuck into her hair, saying, like a sarcastic unicorn, Not a whit disturbed, John smiled, as if at some mighty pleasant fancy of his own, as he replied, Some of the happiest hours of my life have been spent in their society; some of my pleasantest associations are connected with them;some of my best lessons have come to me among them; and when my fortune is made, I intend to show my gratitude by taking three flat-irons rampant for my coat of arms.
Nan laughed merrily, as she looked at the burns on her hand; but Di elevated the most prominent feature of her brown countenance, and sighed despondingly, I no sooner build a nice castle in Spain, and settle a smart young knight therein, than down it comes about my ears; and the ungrateful youth,who might fight dragons, if he chose, insists on quenching his energies in a saucepan, and making a Saint Lawrence of himself by wasting his life on a series of gridirons.
Ah, if I were only a man, I would do something better than that, and prove that heroes are not all dead yet. But, instead of that, I'm only a woman, and must sit rasping my temper with absurdities like this.
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His memory makes that dingy shop a pleasant place to me; for there he made an honest name, led an honest life and bequeathed to me his reverence for honest work. That is a sort of hardware, Di, that no rust can corrupt, and which will always prove a better fortune than any your knights can achieve with sword and shield.
I think I am not quite a clod, or quite without some aspirations above money-getting; for I sincerely desire that courage that makes daily life heroic by self-denial and cheerfulness of heart;I am eager to conquer my own rebellious nature, and earn the confidence of innocent and upright souls; I have a great ambition to become as good a man and leave as good a memory behind me a sold John Lord. Di winked violently, and seamed five times in perfect silence; but quiet Nan had the gift of knowing when to speak, and by a timely word saved her sister from a thunder-shower and her stocking from destruction.
The question was for John, but the soothing tone was for Di, who gratefully accepted it, and perked up again with speed. I consoled the poor lad as well as I could,telling him his wisest plan was to defer his proposed expedition, and go on as steadily as he had begun,--thereby proving the injustice of your father's prediction concerning his want of perseverance,and the sincerity of his affection.
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I told him the change in Laura's health and spirits was silently working in his favor, and that a few more months of persistent endeavor would conquer your father's prejudice against him, and make him a stronger man for the trial and the pain. I read him bits about Laura from your own and Di's letters, and he went away at last as patient as Jacob ready to serve another 'seven years' for his beloved Rachel.
John rose involuntarily in the presence of an innocent nature whose sorrow needed no interpreter to him. The girl read sympathy in his brotherly regard, and found comfort in the friendly voice that asked, half playfully, half seriously, With a gesture full of energy, Laura tore herMinerva from top to bottom, while two great tears rolled down the cheeks grown wan with hope deferred.
Nan went to her and held her fast, leaving the prints of two loving but grimy hands upon her shoulders; Di looked on approvingly, for, though stony-hearted regarding the cause, she fully appreciated the effect; and John, turning to the window, received the commendations of a robin swaying on an elm-bough with sunshine on its ruddy breast. The clock struck five, and John declared that he must go; for, being an old-fashioned soul, he fancied that his mother had a better right to his last hour than any younger woman in the land,--always remembering that "she was a widow, and he her only son.
Nan ran away to wash her hands, and came back with the appearance of one who had washed her face also: and so she had; but there was a difference in the water. With which preface the young man kissed his former play fellows as heartily as the boy had been wont to do, when stern parents banished him to distant schools, and three little maids bemoaned his fate. But times were changed now; for Di grew alarmingly rigid during the ceremony; Laura received the salute like a graceful queen; and Nan returned it with heart and eyes and tender lips, making such an improvement on the childish fashion of the thing that John was moved to support his paternal character by softly echoing her father's words,--"Take care of yourself, my little' Martha.