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The story of Cinderella in brief: her mother dies; father remarries and brings to household two daughters; stepmother and stepsisters mistreat her; father is either indifferent or malevolent (in some stories, such as the Disney movie, he dies as well). She performs all the household's menial tasks and must live and work among the ashes on the hearth.
Cinderella is aided by a magical helper (most commonly a fairy godmother, but also magical bird, magic tree, enchanted cow, enchanted fish). Sometimes her magical helper comes to her unbidden, but the Grimms' Cinderella must act to improve her condition. She calls upon pigeons and turtle‐doves to come to her aid to complete her stepmother's impossible tasks.
The heroine finally attends a ball (festival, party), at which time a prince falls in love with her at first sight. Since fairy‐tale tradition frequently demands that rules accompany magical gift, she must leave the ball at midnight, accidentally leaving behind a shoe. The prince goes to look for her, matching the shoe to the foot of the one who fled. He finds Cinderella. As is the case with many fairy tales, the ending is the least stable part. The stepsisters either suffer a cruel punishment (birds peck out their eyes), or Cinderella, in her new‐found wealth and power, arranges advantageous marriages for them both.
In Jane Eyre, we have Jane as Cinderella. She is a stranger in her own home essentially, in her role as governess. She cannot play a part in the society or hierarchy of the house itself: she is a servant, a worker. From her outsider position, she watches the Ingram sisters and their careless mother living in luxury. The Ingrams are also cruel and empty, the same way the stepsisters/mother are portrayed in the fairy tale. Jane also has her moment with the prince, int hat she & Rochester plan a marriage. Yet she is forced to flee, not by the striking of midnight, but by the fact that Rochester is already married. However, if you'll indulge the metaphor, when the "moral slippers" finally fit, Jane and Rochester can be wed.
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