The Story Cinderella Through a Marxist’s Eye

In a Marxist view, a capitalistic society equates economic status to social status. The story of Cinderella by Charles Perrault highlights a number of these views. Cinderella’s stepfamily longingly desired to keep their social standing. They are willing to but Cinderella into poverty by making her their slave. By doing so, they ensure their social and economic standing. The prince has a similar need to keep his high-class standing but requires a bride to maintain these necessities. The prince reaches his goal by marrying Cinderella to create a possible heir to his throne.
Cinderella’s stepfamily and the prince sustain their economic power by upholding their social status. In a capitalistic society, there is a dependency on having a lower class in order to maintain the higher class. Since Cinderella’s stepfamily has a lot of money and she has nothing, they maintain their economic status by demoting her to slavery. In the beginning of the fairy tale after her mother dies, her father remarries to maintain his economic status. Cinderella is unfortunate when soon after his death she is plunged into poverty. Throughout the story, her stepfamily continues to live in luxury while keeping Cinderella in squalor.
While her stepsisters slept in expensive beds and were dressed in lavish fashions, Cinderella had to sleep in a bed made of straw and wear old dirty rags. The stepmother requires Cinderella to be kept in poverty in order to maintain their economic and social status. Cinderella will never have the chance to rise to the higher class since she does not earn any money. Unless someone existing in the higher class takes her out of her poverty, she will continue to exist within the lower class. In this time period, people were defined within society by how much money they acquired.

The prince’s social standing of being in the ruling class is also dependent on economic wealth. In order for his family to stay in power he needs to have an heir to the throne. He hosts an extravagant ball at his castle to find a suitable bride and all the ladies in the town were invited to attend. Cinderella wanted eagerly to go the ball, but knew she was not wealthy enough to look the part. Cinderella is fortunate enough to have help from a supernatural force, called her fairy godmother, to transform her into appearing like she was from the high-class society.
Her beauty was so intriguing that the prince fell in love the moment he looked at her. Once he finds Cinderella from the help of his servants, she is pulled out of slavery and into the ruling class. The prince enables his family to maintain their economic and social status by marrying Cinderella. He now will have an heir to the throne and his family will be preserved in the royal society. The struggle between the higher and lower classes of society is prominent within Marxism. Charles Perrault highlights this ideology in the fairytale of Cinderella.
Cinderella’s stepfamily wants to keep their maintain their economic and social standing. They make Cinderella their slave and instantly plunge her into poverty. Their economic standing is ensured as soon as she is put the lower class. The prince similarly keeps his social standing when he finds a bride. The prince and Cinderella get married therefore maintain his economic and social status and ultimately creating a possible heir to his throne. In the story Cinderella economic status is ensured through differences in social statuses. Marxist views uphold this society and therefore capitalism is sustained.

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