(Edit: Hello! I am super excited because I am finally able to put the time and work into this story. I have been updating the retelling breakdown a bit so you guys can see how things are going so far.)
The Grimm Brother's fairy tales and the Disney retelling's have played a monumental part in my life. I remember when I found out that Disney's Cinderella was actual a retelling, I immediately became obsessed with reading the original stories. Despite the Grimm Fairy tale's dark, gritty nature I have come to love their versions of Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, etc.
For this project, I have decided to go with Cinderella. Mainly due to the fact that there are so many different variations of the story I love. That way I can take the values and characters from these variations and somehow blend them into a darker, young adult, a retelling of the beloved Cinderella with a few twists of my own.
I really want my retelling to be something that can be the length of a novel, and maybe even a book series.
Even though it will take a little bit of work and research. I've decided to breakdown 5 different variations of Cinderella. To not only find repetitive key elements, but maybe bring forth a lesser known element in one of Cinderella's story to life. I have only included one of the breakdowns on this thread which is for the Grimm Brothers Cinderella.
The four other variations I looked at and broke down for Cinderella, are the Charles Perraut version called Cendrillon. This introduced the iconic glass slippers, the fairy godmother, and the pumpkin carriage. A very different variation called "Catskin" collected by Joseph Jacobs in More English Fairy tales. In "Catskin", the father has a more prominent role than in the original Cinderella. It still keeps the elements of a noble girl becoming a servant, received a nickname, and eventually going to a ball and falling in love with a prince. The next version I looked at called Le Fresne which is retold by Marie de France. In this one, a noblewoman abandons her infant daughter at the base of an ash-tree outside a nunnery. The baby is one of two twin girls, the mother believes that she will be accused of infidelity (an old belief was twins were the result of two separate fathers). This one has less of what is normally seen in a variation of the Cinderella tale, but I wanted to include it for the interesting premise of two sisters being separated at birth. The final version I looked at is called "Cap-O'Rushes" which was also collected by Joseph Jacobs. This one instead has a father who drives out his third daughter, who then becomes a servant at a noble household. They give her the nickname Cap-O'Rushes as she gave them no name. When the master of the house holds a ball, she attends and ends up falling in love with her Master's son. This one still has the Cinderella-esque vibe just without the glass slippers and fairy godmothers.
Each of these other versions has shown the repetitive and recognizable elements of a Cinderella-type story, as well as giving me more ideas of things I want to include or twist in my version of Cinderella.
Story Breakdown Of Cinderella By The Grimm Brother's
Setup: A wealthy gentlemen's wife lies on her deathbed when she calls Cinderella over telling her to remain good and kind, as God would protect her. Every day, Cinderella visits her Mother's grave to grieve and weep
Ending: Cinderella and the Prince are wed and two doves appear from above and peck the evil step-sister's eyes out as punishment for the pain they caused Cinderella.
Geography: Takes place in a Kingdom, that is vaguely European/German in this version
Time Period: Normally unspecified, most likely 19th or 20th century