Aschenputtel und ihre Schwestern : Frauenfiguren im Marchen : eine Kontrastierung des Grimmschen Aschenputtel von 1857 mit Aschenputtelerzählungen des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts

Wittmann, Gerda-Elisabeth (2008-12)

Thesis (MA (Modern Foreign Languages))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.


It has been widely assumed that the portrayal of women in fairytales subscribes to somewhat outdated and stereotypical modes of representation. Upon closer inspection however, it can be seen that this is a fallacious assumption and that the female roles in these stories are much more multidimensional in nature. One of the most popular fairytales from the Grimm Brothers is Cinderella. The portrayal of women in this story is typical of the weak, subjected woman who needs to be rescued by the prince from her unfavourable and subjugated position. The research presented here aims to show that the Grimm’s specific depiction of Cinderella in the 19th century provides an alternative to the modern myth. Here, she reacts strongly and independently to find the most advantageous resolution to her problematic subject position. To this end the Grimms’ version will be compared to text and filmic versions from the 20th and 21st centuries. By comparing aspects of female representation in the Cinderella-themed portrayals, one can evaluate the extent to which societal expectations have altered over time as well as investigating the modern-day implications of this.

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