by Anne Sexton
Cinderella Women and Femininity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
but her big toe got in the way so she simply
sliced it off and put on the slipper. (82-83)
So, if you're a girl, have you ever done anything uncomfortable for the sake of looking good? Wearing heels, perhaps, or squeezing into some form-fitting jeans? How about cutting off your toe? No? Good! That's kind of a ridiculous (and gruesome) length to go to for beauty, we think. And we also think it exemplifies the way in which women in "Cinderella" want a husband more than anything else in the world. So much, in fact, that they're willing to spill their own blood. Yuck.
At the wedding ceremony
the two sisters came to curry favor (95-96)
More cynical portrayal of gender roles here. Even after mutilating themselves, and even though they are part of a wealthy family, the sisters must come and try to get back into the good graces of their stepsister. Why, you ask? Because they want wealthy husbands too! This moment casts men and women in some pretty grim gender roles: men as controllers of destiny, women as subservient.
Cinderella and the prince
lived, they say, happily ever after,
like two dolls in a museum case (100-102)
Here it seems as if the "happy" couple has been frozen in their just-married state—she the blushing bride, he the proud prince. That sounds great until you think about the fact that it never gives either of them the chance to change over time. They're stuck in their stereotypically-gendered positions, forever and ever. Depressing.