Lady Tremaine (Eleanor Audley) was determined to “forward the interests of her own two awful daughters”. What mother would not want to look out for her daughters first? She is described as “cold, cruel, and bitterly jealous of Cinderella’s (Ilene Woods) charm and beauty”. Although these are not amiable qualities, they do not make her wicked.
If Lady Tremaine were truly wicked, would she offer Cinderella a room with a bed, pillow, and blankets to sleep in? This seems like a reasonable curtesy in today’s society, but Cinderella could have been sleeping on the floor with little more than a blanket.
Cinderella’s step-mother spoils her daughters to ensure they marry well and have a good life. She attempts to teach them how to sing beautiful songs; however, their musical talents do not live up to Cinderella’s.
She also attempts to teach them appropriate manners. When one sister acts cruelly to the other (not including Cinderella), she urges them “above all, self-control”.
The only truly wicked thing the Lady Tremaine does is lock Cinderella in her room in the attic. Although this is severely unfair, she is still trying to better the life of her daughters. She hopes the slipper will fit one of them and Cinderella will be kept completely out of the picture.
Also, when it comes to Cinderella and the prince (William Phipps), the step-sisters do not interfere with them finding each other. They are completely innocent in this matter.
The wickedest thing the step-sisters do is tear her first ball gown apart. They do not like that she actually looks nice and the mice took their accessories to make her dress.
Not to minimalize the hard work our valiant princess does on a daily basis. She does do the cooking and cleaning for the whole household. And they do take advantage of her hard work by demanding washing, ironing, and mending to be done immediately. They “keep her busy”.
Although many will not agree, in this rendition of the traditional story, the wicked step-mothers and wicked step-sisters really are not that evil. They are looking out for themselves and not Cinderella, but that selfishness does not actually make them wicked.
Cinderella has been told all over the world.
Cinderella has three mothers. What does this mean for her as a woman?
See you next week!