by Anne Sexton
Cinderella The Supernatural Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
and she said to her daughter Cinderella:
Be devout. Be good. Then I will smile
down from heaven in the seam of a cloud. (24-26)
At this point in the poem, nothing supernatural or magical has really happened yet, but this is our first indication that something might happen, soon. Cinderella's mother, lying on her deathbed, promises her daughter that she will shower her with blessings if she is devout and good. How can she do that after she's dead? Supernatural events are coming…
She planted that twig on her mother's grave
and it grew to a tree where a white dove sat.
Whenever she wished for anything the dove
would drop it like an egg upon the ground. (36-39)
Boy, wouldn't it be nice to have a tree like that? This is the fulfillment of Cinderella's mom's promise: now Cinderella can have anything she wants. She just has to ask for it. In the example stories in the beginning of the poem (about the plumber and the charwoman, etc.), the events are improbable but not impossible. This situation is impossible because of its magical element. This might make Cinderella either more or less deserving of her fortunes than the people described at the beginning, but we'll let you decide.
The white dove brought all his friends;
all the warm wings of the fatherland came,
and picked up all the lentils in a jiffy. (50-52)
In this instance, the impossible makes the impossible possible! (Try saying that five times fast.) Cinderella could never have picked up an entire dish of lentils out of an ash pile by herself in an hour. But with the help of the magical dove and his friends, they accomplish the task in no time.