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Anne Sexton

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Added by: Natalia
After reading the poem over a few times, I tried to relate it to the Feminist Movement. The way I saw the poem was that once Cinderella had married the prince, she was stuck in the museum case. She did stop living her life and was restricted from the freedom of living. The museum case where she lived with the prince didnt allow her to enjoy personal freedoms. I love this poem and I love all of Sexton's Transformation poems. Theyre classics.
What is Anne Sexton trying to say?
Added by: Korean Dude
She wishes to depict the powerless status of women, and that such ‘happily ever after’s do not exist.
Powerless under the stepmother, Cinderella had to regain her power through winning over the lustful desire of the prince, who only wanted to ‘find his strange dancing girl for keeps.’ The Prince possibly could not have fallen into love with Cinderella if it were not for her beauty. And it is also unlikely for Cinderella to have truly loved the arrogant and impatient prince, who after two tries to find his dancing girl, felt like a ‘shoe salesman.’ After all, the prince could hold another ‘marriage market’ and find another beautiful woman. This strongly implies how women can only be successful by being lucky. Furthermore, the two stepsisters had to amputate their body parts to get a chance at the prince, symbolizing how men get the pick, while woman have to risk what they already have to gain more. And for Cinderella, while being taken care of by such an omnipotent dove, she never once wished for her own power, portraying how women cannot work to obtain their goal, but must become lucky, as if a prince will walk by and pick her up.
The second thing Anne Sexton wishes to imply is that such blissful stories only exist in our imagination, which reflects Anne Sexton’s own life of tragedy and lack of happiness. Cinderella and the Prince ‘never argued, fought, got middle-aged spread,’ but rather lived in a ‘museum case,’ where they didn’t experience the toils of everyday life. Even the love between the two seems superficial because of the Prince’s character. Moreover, Anne Sexton uses the repetition of ‘that story’ to emphasize how such blissful stories are dreamt of by many, but never becomes reality.
Added by: Hallie
Thank you very much for all the helpful comments. I didn't know how to interprite the poem for english class, and your comments helped a lot. thanks again!!
What a bore.
Added by: Alexis
God. Anne Sexton's poetry can be strung into one long 8 million page tome all about feminism. I'm a girl, but her poetry just irks me. I don't uderstand why she won the pulitzer prize and sylvia plath didn't. (I compare them because they were close friends and viewed eachother's poetry).
Added by: beth
I think that another thing that we need to remember while reading this poem is that much of Sexton's career was during the 50's and early 60's. This poem was probably in response to the 50's housewife gender norms. The whole country was just smitten with this idea of suburbia and nuclear families, and think that Sexton was trying to give us a wake up call.

I completely disagree with whoever said she was "messed up". Psychologists of all people should know how ridiculous the 50's were in terms of diagnoses. (AHEM homosexuality as a disorder in the 1954 DSM!) America itself had psychological problems: Anne Sexton was a reality check.
Added by: Rachel
I just wanted to address:
Conformity: Tabitha written on 08-24-03//2nd page.
first of all i think that you are full of bull! What do you mean women didn't have rights back then. Just to let you know - it wasn't back then - she was born in 1928 and died in 1974 - by the end of WWII women had plenty of rights and that was well before 1974 ---- so, no, she didn't kill herself because she was treated badly! -- she was depressed her whole life! And secondly - i think you should do a little research on her before you start throwing things out on the internet because you got it all wrong.
This poem totally expresses her life and how she feels!
basic stuff
Added by: PS
I think the way she set it up was to show that cinderella was not noteworthy of a fairy tale---she didnt do anything extraordinary to deserve what she got. She is just like the plumber who simply got lucky. I think Sexton is trying to show that their victory have no meaning....they simply just got lucky. And it is hard for people to appreciate the things they have when they didnt work hard to get it or deserve it at all....you know, the basic stuff

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