Book and Film

Cinderella’s domestic abuse and torment

Her despair, anguish, & suffering doesn’t taint her kind heart.

Cinderella’s story is impactful beyond explanation. It was never about the prince to begin with. It was a story of survival of pushing through. Interestingly in Wikipedia it is defined similarly :

Cinderella“, or “The Little Glass Slipper“, is a folk tale embodying an element of unjust oppression and triumphant reward.


Analysing human behaviour, human-human interactions, it is without a doubt that the Cinderella tale is based on very real events. There might have been several similar incidents occurring in various cultures and time periods which explains the several sources of the tale from different races.

Cinderella faces trauma, she faces narcissists, she faces oppression. She faces physical abuse in the form of unending labour and toil. She faces constant emotional and mental abuse. Being branded a girl with clothes stained with ashes and cinders is a direct mockery at her state. There is no other tale more profound than this depicting perseverance, steadfastness, believing in oneself, never letting go of herself, and staying true to her nature. She doesn’t let the darkness devour her spirit into revenge and bitterness. She displays courage and strength of character on another level, which results her in receiving an equally majestic reward.

The word Cinderella has, come to mean one whose attributes were unrecognised: one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect. 


During the coronavirus pandemic lockdown reports of higher incidents of domestic abuse and violence have surfaced. For some it is violent, others it is emotional, and mental. Whatever the type of abuse it is still abuse in its essence. All types of abuse have multiplied. Cinderella’s tribulations and trials were of the same nature. Her lockdown was also restricted to the house and estate which is evident from her utter excitement and eagerness upon being invited to attend the ball. In “Ever After” version of the story Cinderella is even seen being mercilessly whipped by stepmother. Any attempt of Cinderella to stand up for herself, to speak up are dealt with vicious cruelty. Her mother’s death is mocked, she is insulted, sneered at, a slave in her own house. Nothing about Cinderella’s story speaks about life being fair which makes it so relevant to our lives even today in our world.

It is not the prince which is her saviour, it is Cinderella herself which delivers herself, more precisely her attitude, behaviour, unrelenting acceptance of her circumstances, kindness to others no matter how small and insignificant they may be i.e. the rats and the birds. It is her invocation to the universe that resonates and brings her back deliverance, triumph and freedom.

Image credit : Flickr

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