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Throughout history fairy tales have captivated the hearts and minds of fans and critics alike While fans applaud the underlying morals of fairy tales critics point out the negative effects these tales have in the socialization of children Modern adaptations of fairy tales as well as original versions all place negative gender expectations on women Providing cultural and socio-historical information fairy tales have helped to perpetuate stereotypical thoughts on the ideal virtues of women Natural beauty obedience to the husband and dedication to the maintenance of the home are all standards for women modeled throughout different versions and adaptations of fairy tales Cinderella one of the most popular fairy tales with countless versions reflects gender expectations on women in vastly different societies and settings Its storyline revolves around the idea that women are beautiful vulnerable passive and obedient Furthermore Cinderella provides another example in fairy tales where the heroine of the story must be rescued by a man of princely ways and helped by the forces of nature Using examples from Cinderella it is evident that womens portrayals in fairy tales have placed gender expectations on the ideals and characteristics of heroines throughout history In numerous versions Cinderella essentially keeps the same form differing only in small details like the harshness of the stepsisters and their punishments In all versions the tale begins by relating the initial situation The first introduction is that of the heroine Cinderella She is beautiful kind obedient and passive The death of her mother is revealed and the ugly and evil stepmother and stepsisters are brought in Now the mistreatment of the heroine is shown as Cinderella is forced to live in poor conditions while the others have a luxurious life The dilemma of the story comes next as the heroine cannot attend the royal ball since she is so poor and dirty Her character is reaffirmed as she nevertheless helps her evil stepsisters prepare for the ball After her
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