Critical Analysis of Anne Sexton's Cinderella Essay

Words: 1309
Pages: 6

Trusha Agashi
Professor Rebekah Starnes
English 252
January 24,2011
Despondently Ever After… In the familiar more traditional version, Cinderella is a poor maid girl that, with the help of fairy godmother, gets a chance to meet prince charming. They fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after, and then what? What is a happily ever after? Is this even a realistic thought? In the dark comedic poem Cinderella, Anne Sexton forces the reader to examine this question. Utilizing literary devices such as tone, imagery, and style, Sexton encourages the reader to think about how silly and unlikely a fairy tale ending actually is. Sexton’s take on the story Cinderella is not based off of the well renowned Disney version, but rather
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We are reinforced that it is close to impossible that each of these situations will occur. As the reader continues, the author’s views towards Cinderella become more pronounced. Sexton ridicules the story of Cinderella through her word choice. As a replacement for saying that everyone except Cinderella were getting ready for the ball, she says they were “gussying up for the big event.” She also debunks the idea of the white dove bringing all of his friends to help pick up the spilt lentils by saying that they picked them up in a “jiffy.” By using words such as “gussying” and “jiffy” Sexton mocks the ideas she knows so many of us believe. The author also pokes fun at the prince when she says, “he began to feel like a shoe salesman.” Sexton manipulates our idea of the usual handsome prince charming, riding in on a horse to save Cinderella by comparing him to a shoe salesman, a rather unsavory character. Cinderella is also portrayed as being small minded and naive, when the author writes “she slept on a sooty hearth each night and walked around looking like Al Jolson.” This makes the reader question, if her life was so terrible, why did she do nothing to improve it? The