Anne Sexton”s Cinderella: An Analysis

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11 December 2021

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We’ve all the time learn or been read fairy tales once in our lives, and the way do they at all times end? Yes, fortunately ever after. In Anne Sexton’s “Cinderella”, she shakes up the normal fairy tale, by including her personal tale. She makes use of sarcasm to complete the story, inflicting the reader’s expectation of a cheerful ending and a standard fairy story to disappear. In doing so, she depicts the difference between the fairy story and actuality world.

With Sexton’s harsh words of actuality, she breaks the desires of the readers in search of a traditional fairy story.

The use of Sexton’s sarcastic tone foreshadows what is to come within the poem. The line “That story” (Line 5), which is repeated quite a few occasions all through the poem, makes the readers think of the unique Cinderella fairytale. Perhaps along with this, by stating “That story” throughout the poem, she is attempting to remind us how every fairy tale is identical. It all the time goes one thing like this: poor girl meets prince…and POOF! They live happily ever after! Now, when is life ever that easy? By adding her personal anecdote, Sexton is depicting to the readers a extra realistic fairy tale.

Sexton uses irony via her sarcasm as properly. Perhaps, it adjustments the reader’s views on the classical fairy story. Cinderella is described as, “Cinderella was their maid. / She slept on the sooty fireside each night time / and walked around wanting like Al Jolson” (Line 30-32). Al Jolson who was a white man, who impersonated a black man, is compared to Cinderella.

However, dressing up as a black man was Jolson’s choice, and being their maid wearing grime was not Cinderella’s.

Another example of ironic imagery in Sexton’s poem is precise my favourite lines in the poem. “The eldest went right into a room to try the slipper on / but her huge toe got in the way so she simply / sliced it off and placed on the slipper. / The prince rode away with her till the white dove / told him to take a look at the blood pouring forth. / That is the best way with amputations. / They don’t simply heal up like a wish” (Lines 81-86). Perhaps Sexton is trying to show the readers how life never goes like a fairy tale. We do not get a fairy godmother to grant us our one easy want. We should struggle for every little thing that we want to have in our arms. With the use of her sarcasm, Sexton, depicts to the reader how far the stepsister went to attain her fortunately ever after ending.

After reading this poem, the reader’s expectations may change by way of Sexton’s use of sarcasm. “Cinderella and the prince / lived, they say, happily ever after, / like two dolls in a museum case / by no means bothered by diapers or dust, / never arguing over the timing of an egg” (Line 100-104), from these strains, Sexton is actually altering her fairy tale right into a myth, making Cinderella and the prince only a portraits hung on the wall. By her use of sarcasm, Sexton is depicting for the readers how the fairy tale ending is actually not reality. Just because Cinderella marries the prince does not needed mean that they’ll stay happily ever. If a person runs off and will get married, it never seems quite like a fairy tale. Through Sexton’s poem, the reader can receive the message of the happily ever concept, for we begin to understand that life is just never that easy and by no means runs a protracted, smooth highway.

Sexton makes use of sarcasm in addition to her personal anecdotes to foreshadow the ending of the poem. On top of this, she all the time uses ironic imagery and likewise modifications the reader’s view on the basic fairy story ending. Through her own remake of “Cinderella”, Sexton efficiently proves to us that fairy tales do not exist in actuality. Sexton is sending out the message to have sensible desires and never sit at house just ready for a prince charming to drag up in the pumpkin carriage.

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"Anne Sexton”s Cinderella: An Analysis" StudyScroll, 11 December 2021,

StudyScroll. (2021). Anne Sexton”s Cinderella: An Analysis [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 6 December, 2023]

"Anne Sexton”s Cinderella: An Analysis" StudyScroll, Dec 11, 2021. Accessed Dec 6, 2023.

"Anne Sexton”s Cinderella: An Analysis" StudyScroll, Dec 11, 2021.

"Anne Sexton”s Cinderella: An Analysis" StudyScroll, 11-Dec-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 6-Dec-2023]

StudyScroll. (2021). Anne Sexton”s Cinderella: An Analysis. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 6-Dec-2023]

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