Cinderella's Glass Slipper

Gabriella Rex
The primary author is the individual who drafted the first version of this section; a section that could have been modified since it was originally published.

Cinderella is known as one of the most beloved fairy tales of all times. However what many do not know is the interesting development of the actual story. There are anywhere between 345 to 1,500 different accounts of Cinderella (Heiner). The most well-known is based off the 1950s Disney animated film which is about the story of a young girl whose life is happy until her mother dies and her father marries a bad tempered woman. After her father dies, she is left with her step mother and her two step sisters who treat her as a servant. The prince of the land is looking for a wife and throws a ball for all the young ladies of the kingdom to come to so that he can find a wife. Cinderella is forbidden to go to the ball by her step mother, but Cinderella's fairy godmother turns a pumpkin into a coach and magically clothes her in a beautiful ball gown so that she can go to the ball. The crowning of her attire are two glass slippers.

During the ball, Cinderella enchanted the Prince, but at midnight the magic stopped and she ran away before her clothes would be changed back to those of a lowly servant girl. However, when running away she lost one of the beautiful glass slippers. It was found by the prince and he declared that every maiden in the kingdom was to try it on until he found the girl that he had fallen in love with. When the slipper was brought to the house of Cinderella's step mother, "He had Cinderella sit down, and, putting the slipper to her foot, he found that it went on very easily, fitting her as if it had been made of wax." (Perrault). She married the prince and they lived happily ever after.

In regards to Nick Sousanis' Unflattening, the glass slipper is of special importance. One of the main themes throughout Unflattening is the idea of the same style or format not fitting everyone. This is important in regards to education. The education system tries to make all students the same by giving them standardized tests, standardized curriculum, and standardized goals. What is not realized is the unique and individual learning processes of each student. A subject such as math is more interesting to some and less interesting to others. Should all students have the same knowledge and take the same classes about that subject regardless of their interests or talents?

Nick Sousanis describes life as a journey in which, "It's essential to have a sensible pair of shoes that you aren't made to fit into but rather are made to fit you" (Sousanis 144). The education system needs to be more like the wax of Cinderella's glass slipper. Not every student will be great at math, but each student has his or her own strengths and weaknesses that we need to recognize.

For Further Reading

Screen capture from Cinderella (1950)