Bruno Bettelheim’s approach to the story of Cinderella—any version would do—formulated a relationship between the concepts of the story to the experiences of a child, who most likely suffered from sibling rivalry. It was mentioned as the story that has a message for the unconscious of the child wherein it taps the gears of imagination of the child. He or she then fantasizes, creating his or her Cinderella story. However, Bettelheim also shared a negative side to being Cinderella in the household, and supports his claims with certain situations that may occur inside the family.
Cinderella is a story about the agonies and hopes that form the concept of sibling rivalry. However, it is also mentioned that sibling rivalry is often a product of a child’s jealousy over the achievements of his or her siblings; if he or she were an only child, that jealousy is directed towards other children. Another catalyst of this sibling rivalry may have been the parents themselves, whom the child always looked unto for love and esteem. If the parents do not provide the two, the child will suspect that he or she is being neglected and cast down into a situation similar to that of Cinderella.
However, the story provides the child hope of rising up from the ashes after being brought down by the “vileness” and wrongs of his or her parents and siblings. The surprising side is that it promotes a selfish attitude for the child to follow, as he or she would believe that they are at the center of the universe. Given this case, it seems that Cinderella may actually be promoting acts of selfishness as the means of being able to achieve glorification in the end. However, it promotes more of the positive attitude that Cinderella projects; after the suffering, the child will be able to rise up higher.
A Folktale About Folktale Folktales have captured the attention of eager listeners, curious about the past, since the Ancient times. Storytellers of these folktales have entertained the listeners from the ancient period, experiencing a slight halt at the medieval period, and then continued towards the contemporary period. They have satisfied their curiosity, even if these folktales are mere copies and modifications of the original text. The essay explained the need for discovering the origin of these folktales since it too can bring curiosity to the readers, as it also seemed like a folktale.
Folktales were often transported through oral means—singing could also be a way of transportation. Storytelling has been a traditional activity that is passed from generation to generation, both the art of storytelling and the stories. As it is handed down, the stories experience gradual modification; changes in the plot, characters, and setting are just some. It is also through in terms of bringing the story from place to place, wherein the audiences from a specific place will modify these stories to relate it to their culture.
Whichever the case is, the essence behind storytelling has been constantly kept; the essence would be the tradition and mechanics of storytelling. The most important fact in storytelling is the story’s traditional nature. In English, folktales have been referred to as household tales, which explains its preference of being told orally. The teller of the folktale is usually proud of his ability to share these stories to an audience which in turn, would create another storyteller from the audience and then the cycle goes on.
Folktales are simply a mere copy of themselves as the process of copying and recopying would never end, so long as a storyteller would be received by an audience. However, the tradition of storytelling has always existed since the beginning and people always found it as a great activity to pass time. In the end, folktales have been continuously modified in order to suit the audience’s generation and culture.
Behrens, Laurence and Leonard Rosen. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 9th ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2004.