In: Film and Music

Submitted By adamantium68
Words 317
Pages 2
Bob Bobson

M. Newell

English 102

January 24, 2001

The Slipper of Discord:

An Analysis of the Symbolic Meaning of the Glass Slipper

in Cinderella

In Cinderella, by having the glass slipper the means through which the Prince

choses his bride, a slipper symbolically associated exclusively with a

particular conception of beauty, Disney encourages women to submit to the painful and

confining beauty ideal to permit the continuation of male empowerment.

To begin the slipper’s inherent beauty stems from its conceptual design with its elegant

arch, delicate heel as well as the material used to create it, clear glass befitting a rare,

crystal vase. Moreover, its clearness permits Cinderella to expose her similarly delicate

and dainty foot, a quality long associated with beauty especially in Oriental cultures.

Created out of glass, the slipper stands as a signifier for the ambivalent notion of beauty

proposed by a masculinist culture - epitomized by the phallic towers of the castle - at the

heart of the tale, a culture that permits the Prince to select his bride based solely on

beauty. Therefore, more specifically, the slipper, in a sense, represents the pain

associated with beauty. Encased in the fragile glass and perched upon a thin spiked heel,

Cinderella’s foot suffers pain. Moreover, should this fragile glass crack, the splinters

would sever her tender flesh exposed for all its beauty by the transparent glass. So

ultimately, the slipper symbolizes the harmful side of beauty, a contention further alluded

to in the fiction by the cause of the step-sisters great dislike for and mistreatment of

Cinderella: jealousy of her luminescent beauty. Thus, over and over the fiction affirms the dangers and pain of beauty, a notion reinforced by the slipper’s symbolic

significance, a focus that allows…...

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