Last Updated 07 Aug 2020

Analysis of Poem: Cinderella

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The poem of Cinderella by Anne sexton is intriguing and more than a fairy tale. The author employs many literary devices to aid in delivery of the core message intended. In order to analyze the above poem, one has to check how imagery, irony, sarcasm, diction, tone, symbolism, similes, metaphors repetition and parallelism have been used in the poem. Is the use such literary devices effective? What makes the poem of Cinderella by Anne Sexton outstand from the same poem by other authors? The following is an elucidating analysis that breaks the ambiguity and convinces a reader that the poem is more than a fairy tale.

The tone employed in the poem is not only amusing and sarcastic but also. The repetition of the fifth line ‘’that story’’ in the first three stories portray a cynical tone where the theme from rags to riches appear to be a cliché and the happy ending afore thought tends to be destroyed. Also, the description of Cinderella looking as Al Jolson (a white man in black make up) and the ball from which the prince was to make a choice of the wife as a ‘’marriage market’’ is sarcastic and amusing. Nevertheless, the manner in which Cinderella cried like a gospel singer to be released to go to the ball is sarcastic.

The use of imagery in the poem is dominant where a reader is left with a virtual scene of the act. Through vivid description and similes imagery in the poem is developed. Some of the similes employed are ‘’fit like a love letter, ‘’crying like a gospel singer’’ and ‘’ like dolls in a museum’’. Moreover, when the dove pecked the eyes of the two sisters, the persona uses another simile ‘’ two hollow spots were left like soup spoons’’ that vividly describe the clear image of the scene in the fairy tale.

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Another poetic device that helps in analyzing the poem is simile where the persona uses them for emphasis of the message conveyed. When the elder sister cuts her toe to fit in the sandals the prince was using to identify the owner, the dove retorted to the prince to take note of the blood a simile ‘’ they just don’t heal like a wish’’. In addition, when the other sister cut her heel, the persona uses a simile, ‘’blood told as blood will’’. Such similes emphasizes on the needles point to hide a matter for it will be uncovered irrespective of the countless efforts applied. Furthermore, the simile emphasize on how women bear the burden of straining to win the love of men.

Symbolism which is similar to metaphor is widely employed by the persona. The dove in the fairy tale is used as a symbol of Cinderella’s dead mother. At death bed, words spoken by the mother show the love and care towards Cinderella. The only being that comes into play with such kind of love is the dove which used to perch on the tree that grew from the grave of the mother. The words ‘’ I will look at you from heaven’’ are fulfilled when Cinderella cries in need of a cloth and the dove drops down a golden dress and sandals.

The same dove played a major role to single out the real owner of the sandals by whispering to the prince that the two sisters had undergone wishful adjustments like cutting of toes and amputating heels. The dove as well played a role of help by wooing the friends to collect what the step mother had poured on the ground to cut her desire to go to the ball. Such roles were only played by Cinderella’s mother.

The life of Cinderella is synonymous with that of the author – Anne Sexton. This literary device that the persona used is comparison. The alcoholic parents of the author who out rightly neglected her is similar to that of Cinderella where both the step mother and the biological father handled her as a maid. The father of the author sexually abused her, a phenomenon similar to the mistreatment of Cinderella’s father giving her only a twig as a present. Besides the author, all the other sisters were loved by the parents. This incident is duplicated in the life of Cinderella where the two sisters of the step mother receive attention not only from their mother but also from Cinderella’s biological father.

The persona as well makes use of irony. The comparison of Cinderella to Al Jolson who was a white man who impersonated a white man is ironical. Al Jolson wore black clothes willfully but Cinderella cladding in grime as the maid is not willful. Also, it is ironical how the elder sister chopped her toe to fit in the slippers but was betrayed by the blood pouring out.
In conclusion, one can easily analyze the poem by carefully evaluating the use use of the literary devices employed. Through these devices the actual message the author intended to pass across is well grasped.

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Analysis of Poem: Cinderella. (2020, Aug 07). Retrieved from

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