Re: [evol-psych] Cinderella: Biography of an archetype
- In a message dated 5/31/2003 6:19:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ian.pitchford@... writes:
Subj: [evol-psych] Cinderella: Biography of an archetype
Date: 5/31/2003 6:19:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet
Cinderella: Biography of an archetype
By Jen Waters
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Imagine, if you will, the elements of the fairy tale: a glass slipper, a
pumpkin that turns into an elegant carriage, a beneficent fairy godmother and,
at its center, a destitute girl who triumphs over her wicked stepfamily when
she is carried off by a gallant prince.
� Cinderella, the world's best-known and most beloved fairy tale, sounds like
the purest fantasy. But if it represents nothing but random invention and
fantasy, why has the tale emerged so often over so many centuries in so many
languages and mediums and cultural traditions? Etc.
Ian, the Cinderella story represents a mythogenic evolution from the original story of Eros and Psyche. That would make it at least about 3000 years old. But included in� the personalistic references about cruel stepmothers and Prince Charming or the American mass market Disneyized Cinderella, the clue to� the story is in the chargirl's name, Cinder-ella or Lucinda. Little cinder girl represents the ember in the hearth that lasts through the night and which is used to relight the fire in the morning. In other words she is the endopsychic spark or ember, or "inner light," in comparision to an exoteric fire such as the sun. Such was also the case for Luci-feros, or Lucifer, as� the bearer (pheros) of the light (luci) and, again, an inner or cthonian light or fire that perdures endopsychically. This inner light is represented as feminine in form which gives it a close link to the Feminine or Eleusinian Mysteries of ancient Greece: the relation of mother Demeter to her virgin daughter Persephone, or the Kore (virgin). Yet variant stories of Cinderella are known to ninth century China where the "lotus foot" or tiny foot of the foot binding custom (to restrain the woman) has to do with the liberation of the woman as in Cinderella's case, her redeeming prince identifying her with her one and only fitting shoe. The drama heightens, however, as in the story of Psyche with her relation to her two jealous sisters who conspire her demise but which in fact leads her to meeting with Eros, son of Aphrodite, as Prince Charming. But in all cases the center of it all is the incestuous tie of Cinderella/Psyche with her father and which evokes the ire of the jealous sisters and the mother as well. In that case the motif of the story is about the breaking away of the "apple of daddies eye"
from the father. In that sense it is a vital tale of feminine liberation or rebirth of the woman.
Since there was recent exchange on this list about the problematics of Father/Daughter love, the story of Cinderella would be instructional.