Monday, 18 April 2011

Day the TenththFithth

Who locked the bloody door?
N is for:

Note - While I did have a clever and well thought out post ready for today the gremlins decided that it wasn't good enough and misplaced it.

Therefore today's subject is Nonsense.
We've all encountered nonsense at some point in our lives, It is a global language much like Esperanto tries to be. Since you are on the Internet I've no doubt you've read a great deal of it. [1]

So settle back in the big boys chair with your favorite hot drink because you're about to read some more, unless there is a powercut or something and then you probably wont.

The Analysis of Cinderella


The Shooting Star Sees The Sun. 


It would seem that there are only two kinds of people in both the real world and the storybook one.  One of these is the Haves and the other is the Havenots.
The Haves generally have it pretty good at the start of any story while the Havenots, rather predictably, have not [2]  Cinderella tells the story of a poor Havenot that is escalated into the world of the Haves and the consequences of her night of freedom.

The Story:
In a nutshell the story goes like this. Cinderella is mistreated by her stepmother and two stepdaughters, her father barely rates a mention in the story beyond a quick notation that he took a new wife who had two daughters of her own [3]
The prince, for reasons known only to himself decides to throw a massive ball.  Of course because of her status as a Havenot, Cinders isn't allowed to attend the ball and just to rub it in that little bit more she must help the ugly sisters into their own dresses [4]
With a long list of jobs to do Cinderella watches the three of them ride away. She then laments and sings a sad song [5]
Suddenly her fairy godmother appears [6] and with a few mice, rats and a pumpkin she waves the wand, says the magic words and Bing Bang Boom there's a coach and horses standing there.
Cinders is given some glass slippers and a fantastic gown but is warned to be back home by midnight because that's when the magic wears off.

Cinders arrives at the ball creating a stir because of her great beauty [7] and also because the prince is much taken by the “mysterious and beautiful stranger” [8] and forgives any social gaffs that she might make. [9] They dance together, under the light of the silvery moon, ignoring everyone else which leaves the other women free to talk amongst themselves about who this person is and why it is that she gets to hog the prince.

Alas!  The clock begins to strike midnight and the magic starts going away [10]  Cinderella runs down the stairs losing a single glass slipper on the way and the prince issues a decree that “Whoever this shoe fits will be my bride” [11]

So naturally the prince and entourage [12] come to the crucial house. Where both of the stepdaughters claim the shoe for themselves but are unable to actually get the damn thing on.
Finally Cinderella speaks up for the first time and tries on the shoe, of course it fits perfectly and just to seal the deal she brings out the spare [13]

With no thought to her scruffy appearance the prince takes her into his arms and together they ride off to start a new life together leaving the stepmother and her daughters alone in the house.


Q: When the good fairy gives her the coach and horses. Why doesn't Cinders simply pack up the house and take it down to the town for an emergency fire sale?
With the money she earned she should be able to afford the fare out of the kingdom with nobody being the wiser.

Q: The fairy godmother could do all this magic, mice into footmen, rats into horses etc. Why couldn't she magic the prince to Cinderella?
Obviously it would change the story from one of Girl meets Boy to Girl abducts boy, holds country to ransom, is caught and made to pay for her crimes in the dungeons [14]. But I'm just putting the thought out there.

Q: Who did the housework?
The quick answer would be the fairy godmother but if the the attention that she paid to Cinders case is any example I don't think she'd have done a very good job. What I'm getting at is that Cinderella was left with a long list of jobs to do, many of them more than likely quite unnecessary but that's beside the point, after midnight she flees the ball and runs back home. [15]

Now when the stepmother and sisters return home they are obviously not going to be in a very good mood, due to the fact that they were upstaged by the beautiful stranger who's sudden flight was the penultimate part of the ball.
The only person they are going to be able to take it out on is Cinderella who will have gotten home not long before the others, extremely tired from all the dancing [16]. The fact that none of the jobs on the list have been done should have seen her suffering some sort of punishment which would only seem to make her situation and rescue by the prince all the more dramatic.

This is an interesting case to say the least and were I to meet Cinderella in the flesh I would have to ask her why she stayed with the stepmother after being given the means to leave, via the pumpkin carriage. The fact that she:
a: Didn't leave for another town after gutting the house of anything valuable
 b: Disregarded the list of jobs that her stepmother had left [17]
 c: Exposed her secret to the prince in a manner that surely left a very bad taste in the mouth of her stepmother [18]

All points to the classic signs of masochist behavior. I predict that the prince will have an interesting time on his wedding night [19]

Have Notes:
  1. In extreme cases we've voted for it 
  2. But please, stop me if I'm getting too complicated
  3. Her father took a new wife who had two daughters of her own.
  4. The humiliation of this and also the taunting from the ugly sisters is a rather nice touch of psychological warfare on the stepmothers part.
  5. But we're not doing the Disney version.
  6. Where exactly was she before all of this ball stuff? She can't have been monitoring Cinders situation very closely.
  7. Right here is where the story falls apart for me because Cinders, although being beautiful and coming from a family that is good enough to receive an invitation to the princes ball, has been working as an unpaid servant since her father remarried.  Now I can accept that before all of this she was trained in dancing and proper etiquette for interacting with princes and other personages of varying importance but a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and the idea that it all comes back to her in a flash, allowing her to become an instant expert is a little farfetched.
  8. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
  9. So there.
  10. As the magic so often does at the crucial moment
  11. This has been remarked upon before but it continues to be relevant. Given the number of people with the same size feet in the kingdom the chances of finding Cinders is a chance in a million. Possibly the prince had his hound dogs out with the scent.
  12. Including one servant to hold the shoe and presumably another to hold the hounds.
  13. If the shoes were created magically why didn't they vanish at midnight along with the rest of the magical gear?
  14. She eventually escapes, vowing vengeance and is eventually voted Miss Jihad 1172 (and if you get this reference then I take my hat off to you)
  15. Remember that because she was running to escape the prince, her energy levels would be down to nothing.
  16.  Don't worry there is a point somewhere in here
  17. Regardless of how petty they were
  18. Some versions have the prince asking if there is anyone else in the house and the stepmother saying “No there is nobody else” That's the moment I'm talking about.
  19. And would urge everyone to invest in riding crops

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