“Little Glass Slippers” on the American Silver Screen: An Inquiry into Hollywood Adaptations of Charles Perrault’s “Cinderella”

Minu Susan Koshy


Considered as a form of translation, adaptations involve intersemiotic transfers of stories, novels and poems into the symbolic system of the cinema. This process could be construed as an attempt on the part of the “translators” to “consume and erase the memory of the adapted text or to call it into question” as also “pay tribute by copying” (Hutcheon, p. 7). Adaptations of folktales present a particularly challenging and at the same time, interesting task in that unlike novels or short stories, which are mostly in the written form and hence possess a fixed plot, folktales are mostly in the oral tradition and thus present regional and chronological variations. This accounts for the multiple adaptations of “Cinderella” or “The Little Glass Slipper”, one of the most popular tales by Charles Perrault, across and more importantly, within cultures, during different historical periods. In this paper, I attempt a diachronic comparative study of multiple adaptations of “Cinderella”, focusing on different ‘versions’ of the tale embodied in films produced in the USA, from the early 20th century to the contemporary times. The study would take into account the issues of race, gender, class as also the varying themes, keeping in mind the historical conditions under which the films were produced.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/eshs.v1n1p20


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