Teacher Tools and Tips
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Tools, tips and practices to share with teachers
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Shifting to 21st Century Thinking » Malice is in the Eye of the Beholder

We all know the story of Cinderella, the classic fairy tale of rags to riches. But I’m sure most of us have never stopped to think about why this story continues to be read to children around the world, the complexity of the characters, and the social messages that you can extrapolate from it. The illustrations alone in Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story retold by Lynn Roberts and illustrated by David Roberts, tell a compelling story of a battle of class, gender and belief systems.

The social themes underlying the art deco version of Cinderella are important to take note of in analysing the characters, because it is the underlying socio-cultural themes that reveal their complexity. In interpreting the characters motives and actions, it becomes clear that Cinderella and her step-family are far from moral opposites because they are ultimately pursuing the same agenda by the same set of cultural rules and norms.

 

Briefly speaking, Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story is set in a society in which women are objects whose value is determined by the men in their lives. They are not valued for their hard work or intelligence, but as a physical manifestation of a man’s material wealth. Therefore women are concerned with men, beauty, and fashion, as they play an important role as signs of class distinction and social status. The material objects in the illustrations are important signs of this relationship.

 

This thinking object evolved out of a previous thinking object based on Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story, titled How much is Cinderella’s father to blame for her situation? which provided students with a framework to analyse the moral ambiguity of the father character.

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What Fairy Tales Really Mean

What Fairy Tales Really Mean | Teacher Tools and Tips | Scoop.it
It’s a literary rite of passage. You finally pick up a copy of the original, unabridged Grimm’s Fairy Tales. And you’re horrified.     Cinderella’s stepmother orders one daughter to cut o...
Sharrock's insight:

Fairy tales are violent and inappropriate for our kids (at least the old versions are)--prove otherwise. You need to find the stories themselves to support these story summaries though. I don't know if we can easily find them online. The reference sources are included in the webpage though. Could make for an interesting discussion in faculty meetings. 

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