The stories that elicit the theme of “from rags to riches” have become like American creed from early as 1860s. Millions of these stories have been produced and sold worldwide. They have given hope to the poor boy that they can be a president, or a poor girl can become a president wife. Authors such as Horatio Alger, Luck nickel and Pluck, have perfected this theme in their children fiction stories from the early age. Therefore, the Cinderella story is not strange to this believe (Yolen, 2001).
However, the Cinderella story which has been in existence for more than thousand years, is not from the rags to riches but rather riches recovered and a rich girl rescued from the wicked slavery. This story shows a girl that persevered hardship and humiliation to gain power at the end of the story. The story shows that being patient at last pays off. Additionally, although Cinderella was mistreated by her step sister she accommodates them once she gains power. She even find for them husband. The story portrays Cinderella as selfless, grace and gentility. This is the French version of the Cinderella story. In contrast, the American Cinderella, which is showed by Walt Disney from 1950s, is a nice and helpless dreamer who waits patiently with songs for her prince to rescue her. She enlists the help of the oriental forbears, candy marker to trick the step sister and arranging how Cinderella meets the prince (Yolen, 2001).
On the other hand, there are those who don’t understand the story especially the feminist. Thus, they have distorted and wrongly accused the story. Rosemary Minard in her book she claims that Cinderella would still be experiencing her mistreatment was it not for her fairy godmother. Minard sees Cinderella as a weak and beautiful girl who just waits to be rescued rather than fight for her freedom (Yolen, 2001). However, Minard got the theme of the story all wrong. She only sees the story as a fairy tale for children. She does not see the tough and resilient heroine of the Cinderella character in the story.
There are many version of the story around the globe that has been written by various authors such as Charles Perrault, Joseph Jacobs and Walt Disney to name a few. As such, each author brings out in the story culture orientation of their place. For example, the china Cinderella is brought out as a heroine and a worthy woman by giving emphasis on the impossibility of small slipper. However, the American story uses little animals to bring out the importance of love. Nevertheless, all the story are similar. This is because they use the slipper, godmother, ill-treatment rich girl, heroism, the help of magical gift, advice from animals or mother, dance or a festival and recognition (Yolen, 2001).
Conclusively many agree with the Minard comment that the Cinderella story has lost its meaning and give children false hope. The mass American product of the story has diluted the story and gives false Cinderella.
THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
Greensburg or known as Tarry Town is found on the eastern shore of Hudson and dominated by the Tappan Zee, who are ancient Dutch navigators who frequent the town as they sail. The name was given by the housewives of the adjacent towns as their husband had the habit of lingering the town on the market days. Near the village lies a valley known as the sleepy hollow, it was among hills and according to the author it was the quietest place he has ever experienced in the world. Tranquility was only disturbed by the sound of quail or the woodpecker tapping. When the author first toured the valley around noontime, he was shocked by the echoes of his gun. Thus, the quietness captures his attention that he would wish nothing else but valley when he wants to relax and escape from the troubled life (Irving, 2012).
The occupants of the valley are known as Sleepy Hollow Boys (Irving, 2012). This is because the atmosphere of the valley is dreamy and drowsy. It is believed the land was bewitched by a powerful high Germany doctor during early settlement days before the valley was discovered by Hendrick Hudson. It is believed the valley is still under the spell of the witch doctor.This is due to how the people walk, beliefs, strange sights, music/voices in the air, shooting star/meteors, local tales, twilight superstition, nightmares and haunted spots seems to be more frequent than any other part of the country. The major superstition is that of the chief commander who was buried at church yard, but comes out at night moves through the air.
The writer wonders if he walks in sleepy hollow if he will still find the same vegetation and families.The author remembers Ichabod Crane a student instructor from the Connecticut lived briefly in the valley. He was a strict instructor who punished his students with discrimination. He claimed that he was doing the duty of the parents. However, after school hours he was accommodating and would play big boys. He even helped farmers in the farms and found favor in the eyes of parents and his neighbors. He was also good in singing. Thus, he became the singing master of the church and neighborhood in general. As a result, many women came to like him and his company. It was not strange to find him in accompany of women. However, it is only one woman who captured his attention. Her name Katrina Van Tassel she was his music disciple and a daughter of a Dutch farmer (Irving, 2012).
One night Ichabod As he was at the bridge near the church, he was hit by missile, he tried to hide dodge it but it was too late. The next day Ichabod was nowhere to be found. They only found the horse without a saddle. The saddle and hat were found on the way to church. The next sunday the and gossips Knots of gazers were found at the churchyard. Thus, people concluded that Ichabod was carried away by Galloping Hessian. The school was to another place due to this incident. However, an old farmer who happens to visit New York believes Ichabod is still alive. But the countries wives believe that Ichabod was spirited by supernatural powers and the bridge became a subject of superstition (Irving, 2012).
Irving, W. "THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW.” N.p., 2012. Web. <www.gutenberg.org/files/41/41-h/41-h.htm>.
Yolen, J. "America's "Cinderella"." N.p., 2001. Web. <legacy.owensboro.kctcs.edu/kbrown/Yolen's%20essay.htm>.