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The Cinderella Experience

            Albert Einstein once said, "If you want your children to be smart, read them fairytales." The story of Cinderella, perhaps the best-known fairy tale, is told or read to children of all ages. But Cinderella is not just one story; more than 500 versions have been found, and it seems almost every culture has it's own. In each version the differences can vary dramatically, from satanic rituals and passages of extreme violence, to descriptions of beauty and kindness. It's easy to see how fairytales are changed to match cultural beliefs and morals. For instance, some may object to the Cinderella in Lee Tanith's version "When the Clock Strikes," who's mother has "sworn allegiance to satanas" [558]. Versions like this one can make some parents feel vary uncomfortable, while others view it as just another plot twist to aid in the conflict of good versus evil. In this paper we will take a look at four of the different versions of Cinderella from around the world, each filled with magic and violent statements, and the possible arguments against and for them.
             In "When the Clock Strikes" by Lee Tanith, our Cinderella is actually named Ashella, who is the daughter of a satanic mother [558], who takes her own life in order to protect Ashella so she might fulfill her plan of vengeance upon a duke who murdered her family. [558-559]. In "The Wonderful Birch", a Russian version of the tale, Cinderella's mother is turned into a sheep by an evil witch [616], and our maiden herself is transformed into a reindeer by the very same witch [620], who is the story's main antagonist. Various forms of magic and witchcraft exist in "Conkiajgharuna: the Little Rag Girl" as well. From magical cow horns [607] to mystical rivers that grant beauty and deformation [607-608] the Russian story, as well as the others, are dependent on a darker shade of magic that some parents may be uneasy about.

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