Bianca Mendoza English 102 Rhetorical analysis Cinderella Not So Morally Superior Cinderella clean the floors, Cinderella we need our breakfast, Cinderella where are our dresses! When we hear about Cinderella what comes to mind? Growing up when someone talked about Cinderella it was to talk about how she was mistreated. Cinderella was always given chores, and she never got the opportunity to have fun. She had no one on her side. Her mom passed away when she was born and, her father remarried the worst person he could find. Then after he remarried he died as well, leaving everything to her step mother.
As the story goes on we discover Cinderella has a godmother that helps her go to the ball where she meets the love of her life. In Elisabeth Panttaja’s article “Cinderella Not So Morally Superior,” we get a different feel for who Cinderella really is and all the hidden meanings. Elisabeth portrays the true side of Cinderella using pathos, logos, and ethos in her article. In her article, “Cinderella: Not So Morally Superior,” Elisabeth Panttaja argues that Cinderella is not the motherless, good hearted, and honest character that she is portrayed to be.
Panttaja is now showing her audience that Cinderella is not who they thought she was. Panttaja believes Cinderella’s mother has a main role in the story, and that Cinderella is a lying, deceiving, and serpentine character. Cinderella was never really alone. She had someone with her every step of the way. Even though it was not someone in person she still had someone that was helping her. Cinderella is not the innocent girl we see in every story or movie. In almost every Cinderella story, Cinderella is thought to be completely absent.
She is seen as the girl that gets abused by those around her. However, according to Panttaja, her mother plays a key role in Cinderella’s future. Although Cinderella’s mother seems to be dead, it is she who holds the most power within the story. Her mother, using her magical powers, is constantly in a competition to overpower and overcome all forces that are against Cinderella; whether it is Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsister’s plans to hold her back or the prince trying to identify who she really is (Panttaja, 2007).
In Cinderella stories, Cinderella’s mother has always presumably been good, and her stepmother appears to be evil. The fact that most fail to realize, as pointed by the author, is that these two mothers want the same things: they both want the best future for their daughters, and both mothers are willing to do anything to ensure that it happens (Panttaja, 2007, p. 645). The stepmother is trying to protect and allow her blood to have what is best for them first. That doesn’t mean that she won’t take care of Cinderella after.
It is, however, Cinderella’s mother who surpasses and comes in first place. Panttaja believes Cinderella succeeds in winning the prince’s hand at the ball not because of the goodness of her character, but because she was able to stay loyal to her mother. As she accomplished her loyalty to her mother she rewards her by giving her the most beautiful appearance in the entire kingdom. So is the prince falling for Cinderella and her goodness? Or is he simple falling for the magic? Cinderella succeeds through her mother’s magic, deceit, lies, and disguises.
The prince did not fall in love with Cinderella; he fell in love with the magic. She appeared so beautiful so that he was enchanted (Panttaja, 2007, p. 646). In terms of the prince, it is Cinderella’s mother who ultimately decides which girl in the kingdom he should choose. Panttaja states that the prince often repeats his statements proving that he is under a charm rather than an autonomous character (Panttaja, 2007, p. 646). This shows that magic and not free choice is at work.
According to Panttaja this is not surprising because the enchantment of a potential marriage partner is one of the most common motifs in fairytales (Panttaja, 2007, p. 646). Showing that marriage between a man and a woman in fairytales is manipulated rather than it being true love and affection. We never talk about the love that Cinderella and the prince share, it is more about the alliance that Cinderella and her mother have. They bewitched the prince to gain nobility and power (Panttaja, 2007, p. 647).
Panttaja shows through logos that Cinderella is not the character that everyone thinks she is. She logically argues and supplies us with appropriate evidence. Cinderella was never alone, she had her mother by her side advising her and giving her guidance. Cinderella’s ultimate goal is to marry the prince and gain nobility and move up in the chain. We never read about how in love they are, we just know that he falls for her. Does he really fall? Panttaja points out that he is charmed and one way of knowing is the fact that he repeats himself.
Panttaja has a point, was the stepmother and stepsisters the evil ones? They did not desire anything different than what Cinderella and her mother desired. Reference Behrens, L. , & Rosen, L. J. (2007). The Three Appeals of Argument: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. In L. Behrens, & L. J. Rosen, Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum (pp. 149 – 153). New York: Longman. Panttaja, E. (2007). Cinderella: Not So Morally Superior. In L. Behrens, & L. J. Rosen, Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum (pp. 644 – 647). New York: Longman.