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The Archetype of women portray in movies throught the decades - Movie Review Example

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Instructor name Date The Cinderella Archetype The legend of Cinderella has a markedly rich and varied history. This damsel in distress archetype lays out a specific path for the female to follow. “The Damsel in Distress may be the oldest female archetype in all of popular literature and the movies…
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Download file to see previous pages The changes in the damsel in distress archetype can be easily traced through the various versions of the Cinderella story as presented by what would become Paramount Pictures but in 1914 was the Famous Players Film Company, that produced by Walt Disney in 1950 and the more modern version of “Ever After” starring Drew Barrymore. By comparing and contrasting key elements of each story, a picture begins to emerge of the differing ideologies of each time period as well as differences regarding intended audience. In the earliest film, Cinderella is seen to be living with her stepmother and two older step-sisters without any true mention of the missing natural parents. Following the traditional story, Cinderella spends her days cleaning up after her vain and spoiled sisters and step-mother and her evenings sitting in with the cinders to keep warm. She earns the fairy godmother’s help with her kindness to an old, crippled woman who shows up at her door in spite of the cruel treatment the woman gets from the step-mother and step-sisters. A tangential concern here is how this expectation for young women to be kind to the destitute compares with Snow White’s treatment (another Damsel in Distress archetypal figure) in which the young woman is poisoned for her pains. Cinderella, though, earns a chance to meet the prince while she is out gathering wood for the fire and the two fall in love immediately. The story sticks pretty close to the storyline that would be made popular by Walt Disney 40 years later with the exception that Cinderella must also complete tasks given her by the godmother before she can be dressed for the ball. These are easy tasks, including gathering the pumpkin, the mice and the rats to serve respectively as coach, horses and servants, but they are something Cinderella actually has to go and accomplish before she can receive the godmother’s gift. In keeping with the times, it was not unusual for people to find animals such as mice and rats living in close proximity to their homes, and it is not surprising that inside the house is where Cinderella finds and captures the mice and the rats she will need. Cinderella is a true working girl, too, not squeamish about dealing with these animals and accustomed to the hard labor of a housemaid in an age without automatic machines available to make the work easier. This is a much harder story than that told by Walt Disney in 1950. Here the step-sisters have become as unfortunate in appearance as they are in spirit. They are both obviously mean and spiteful even to each other. Cinderella’s role here is the same, to struggle as housemaid under these sisters and an even more demanding step-mother, but the house is much grander and Cinderella’s accommodations are more comfortable although still poor. While she is still expected to do all of the work, her animated clothes don’t look nearly as poor as that of her earlier live-action counterpart and the animals that live in her house are friends rather than vermin. This is made clear as the birds, dog, horse and mice all exist apparently to serve her desires because they are all, to some degree, in love with her as well. In keeping with the mood of the times in which new inventions were being made that made women’s housework much less of a chore, Cinderella is rarely seen ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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