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Compare/contrast Cinderella Essay

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Essay title: Compare/contrast Cinderella Essay

Compare/Contrast Cinderella Essay

“The Walt Disney Company is a powerful economic and cultural phenomenon known throughout the United States and the world as a provider of family entertainment (Maltin, 1, 308). Its media and entertainment holdings establish it as a central communicator in contemporary life. As such, it provides many of the first narratives children use to learn about the world” (Ward, 1). Disney has always been family oriented making it one of the main attractions of reading something Disney. They always have an innocent feeling to their stories, which makes it more appealing for children. But in Vietnamese fairytales a family oriented story may be somewhat gory or violent. “The stories from Vietnam tell us about their culture, their beliefs, and their determination throughout time” (Ly, 1). The 1950 version of “Cinderella”, written by Walter Disney and adapted by Campbell Grant, has some differences and similarities to the Vietnamese “Tam and Cam”, by Vo Van Thang and Jim Larsen. They differ in their violent content in their stories but similarly have a great deal of magic included and also both have prevalent characters to help them find their way.

Being a Disney tale “Cinderella” was not a very violent story. “Our analysis of morality in entertainment is limited and stylized at present. Violence in the media is a major concern, and we research it relentlessly. But our treatments are typically moralistic and academically superficial” (Christians, foreward). In Disney it is “moral” to not use violence and it is also what is culturally acceptable. In Vietnam it is culturally significant to present the violence how it is and it is told to children in this same way. “The stories came about as a means of escaping their everyday lives and a way to live out their dream worlds” (Ly, 1). Tam was the good sister and Cam was the evil stepsister who took orders from her evil stepmother. Tam finally had one last chance to get back at them both for the misery they put her through, and she took her chance. “When Cam was in the hole Tam ordered the servants to pour in the boiling water, and so her stepsister met her death. Tam had the body made into mam, a rich sauce, and sent it to her stepmother, saying that it was a present from her daughter. Each day the woman ate some of the mam with her meals, always commenting on how delicious it was” (Van Thang, 233). The difference between stories is mostly a cultural difference and shows what's socially acceptable within each culture.

The story of Cinderella could be one of the most magical tales of all times. It takes a true believer to make this story come alive. In the Disney version of “Cinderella” magic is used to help Cinderella get to the ball in a fashionable style. First a “fat pumpkin was turned into a splendid coach” (Disney, 516), then “her pet mice became horses and her dog became a footman. Soon after the barn horse was turned into a coachman” (Disney, 516). This is only some of the magic that unveils during Cinderella’s adventure to get to the ball. In “Tam and Cam” much magic is also used but there is a different kind of magic, which can relate closely to reincarnation. Tam comes back to life many times throughout this story after her stepmother and stepsister kill her. She comes back as a bird, then a tree, then a spindle, then a fruit, and then finally as herself. Each time her stepsister tried to kill her she came back and would make it obvious to the king that it was her, his beloved wife. When she came back as the delicious smelling thi fruit a nice old woman took the fruit promising she would never eat it, only smell it. “ Each day, when the old woman went to her stall, a small figure stepped from the thi fruit and grew into the form of Tam. She cleaned the house, put things in order, cooked the rice and made soup out of vegetables from the garden. Then she became tiny again and went back inside the thi fruit. There was even another source of magic in which the fish bones of her old fish friend became a silk dress, a silk scarf, a pair of embroidered shoes, and a miniature horse “it neighed once, and grew to become a noble steed” (Van Thang, 230), and finally a saddle and bridle which fit the horse perfectly. Both stories relate in their use of magic but the Vietnamese version practices the religious beliefs of their Buddhist culture with reincarnation.

To help Cinderella and Tam figure out how to understand this magic they both get help from different characters in their stories. In “Cinderella” after her stepsisters taunted her about not being able to go to

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