Cinderella by Anne Sexton


ENC 1102


June 10, 2004


Cinderella has been one of the most famous myths in the history. Adults and children have related it in different ways, but it always has maintained the same subject matter.


Cinderella is the story of a family, with a father who was a good man, her mother who died when she was very young, and Cinderella, which was she. The time passed by, and her father felt that Cinderella needed a mothers love. And so he married again. She was a woman with two daughters just about Cinderella’s age. After her father died, the true nature of the second wife was revealed. Cinderella was forced to become a servant in her own house. As time went by, the kingdom prepared a celebration in which the prince was going to choice a woman to be his wife. The stepmother and her daughters prepared themselves to the big event, but when Cinderella asked her stepmother if she could come, she said no. Then, the magical moment came; Cinderella’s fairy came into view and gave her a beautiful dress and a pair of gold shoes to wear. She went to the celebration without being recognized by her stepsisters and stepmother; the prince felt in love with her, they danced all nightlong. At twelve o’clock, she got out quickly from the castle, because her fairy told to be at home before twelve. On the stairs, she forgot one of her gold shoes. After that day, the princes sent his soldiers to find the owner of the gold shoe. They drove all over the place, but nobody seemed to be the owner of the little shoe. Finally, they arrived to Cinderella’s house, the stepmother and daughters did whatever was possible to make the shoe fit, but anything worked. Cinderella went out of her room and without problem her foot fit perfectly in the little shoe. So the prince and her got married and live happily ever after. Well, this is a short review of the famous myth for those who never hear about it. And it maybe help to understand better what this all about.


This story had remained with the same symbolic idea; however, some authors had been made some changes to the story. A good example is Anne Sexton, she become one of the best know confessional poets. She took the first place in her poems to introduce herself. Anne Sexton uses twisted metaphors and similes, symbolic images, and vivid colors to tell about her transformed poems. By using twisted metaphors and similes as a technique in her writing, Sexton transforms her poems to be anything but the ordinary. The reason that I and almost everyone else really enjoy and relate to this book of poems by Sexton is because all the poems are centered on classic fairytales we all know. Like this one that I just started with. “Cinderella” this particular poem starts off as many others do, her frustration that nobody gets the opportunity to live the life of their dreams.


"You always read about it:
the plumber with the twelve children
who wins the Irish Sweepstakes.
From toilets to riches.
That story" (lines 1-5)




In this first stanza, I believe that Sexton is talking or venting about her personal problems growing up, indirectly. In the last part, she used “That story”, what is this means? I read some of her interviews before she killed herself, and saw also some pictures and believed or not she seemed to be happy. But when I came to the last part of this stanza, the only thing that I can see is a woman unhappy, and incomplete. She defiantly used this kind of words and phrases to break away from the rule of the fairytales.


It is impossible to forget the reality that she uses in her writing, she point out unnecessary details, just to make the story more ordinary than perfect.


“These events repeated themselves for three days


However, on the third day the prince


Covered the palace steps with cobbler’s wax”(line 74-76)


In the original tale, at this point the facts are unpredictable. But Sexton’s poem is already point out; she takes out the irregular scene, letting the reader know the end of the story. Reading her poem is much easier to understand the