How is Chinese Cinderella similar to the story of Cinderella?
Chinese Cinderella is a biography of Adeline Yen Mah and her emotional and physical childhood journey in which she lived her story similar to Disney’s Cinderella. Chinese Cinderella holds many similarities to Disney’s Cinderella hence the name Chinese Cinderella. This can be seen in the characters and their resemblance with Disney’s version of the fairy tale and Adeline’s way of dealing with the trauma and cruelty from her parents hence, overcoming her adversities.
Firstly, the protagonist, Adeline, has a twisted story in which she keeps a secret from everyone else. This is parallel to Disney’s Cinderella where the protagonist also keeps her warped story a secret. Hence, they both share common ground in the way the stories are conveyed. Their stories revolve around their parents in which are savage and brutal in the way they treat their ‘Cinderella’. Niang’s impatience and malice is akin to ‘the evil stepmother’ in Disney’s Cinderella. This is as her words such as “How dare you!”, “Her words were like a thunderbolt” and “Never! Never! Never!” all demonstrate her bitter communication and the robust way in which she states things. The quote “Never! Never! Never!” establishes alliteration where she uses it to make words comprehensible and coherent. Adeline uses the simile “her words were like a thunderbolt” to describe Niang’s voice as sharp, sudden and not welcome. In addition, this attitude and the way in which she communicates becomes clear and distinct in chapter seven in the scene where Niang signals her baby to come towards her. She rapidly loses her temper and patience when her baby rejects her and as a result she relieves her fury by slapping her innocent little baby which demonstrates her resemblance with Disney’s version of Cinderella’s evil step mother. Thus we can comprehend the relationship and similarities between Chinese Cinderella and Disney’s Cinderella.
Additionally, Aunt Baba and Ye Ye, particularly Aunt Baba, play the role of ‘the fairy godmother’ throughout the story of Chinese Cinderella. Aunt Baba was the source of support and affection in Adeline’s life. This is also parallel to the way in which Cinderella leans on her fairy godmother as well. Adeline’s reliance of Aunt Baba and Ye Ye is seen in the scene where Adeline is asked to write about her mother in class. Instead she writes about her Aunt Baba as she was always the one who nurtured and supported Adeline. Adeline’s simple words about her Aunt Baba such as “she is my best friend and cares about me in every way” and “though I am really nothing, she makes me believe I am special” depicts her melancholy life without her Aunt Baba. Adeline’s cruel parents have taken ...