Short summary - Cinderella - Charles Perrault

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - Cinderella
Charles Perrault

Micro-narration: A girl living with an evil stepmother, with the help of her aunt-sorceress, goes to the ball, where the prince falls in love with her. Running away from the ball, the girl loses the shoe, which the prince finds her and marries her.
In one kingdom lived a rich and distinguished man who had a beautiful wife and a wonderful daughter. But one day trouble came to his house, and his wife died. After a while, the widower remarried, only his new wife turned out to be an arrogant and grumpy woman. She had two daughters from her first marriage, "in everything they look like a mother, - the same arrogant wicked."
The stepmother immediately disliked the kind and affectionate stepdaughter, because next to her her own daughters "seemed even more disgusting." To make the girl's life unbearable, the evil stepmother put all the hard work on her.
The girl slept “in the attic, under the very roof, on a thin bedding”, while her half-sisters basked in feather beds in luxurious rooms. She did not dare to complain about her life to her father, who obeyed her new wife in everything.
By the end of the day, having redid all the work in the house, the girl wearily sat on the floor near the hearth, right into the ash, which is why they began to call her Cinderella. However, even in a dirty dress, she was much nicer than her smart sisters.
Once the kingdom spread the news - the prince decided to arrange a magnificent ball and invite all the noble people to it. The Cinderella sisters also received an invitation, and they were incredibly happy about it. They began to choose outfits and jewelry, and Cinderella only had to "iron skirts and starch collars for sisters."
When the long-awaited day came and the family drove off in a carriage to the palace, Cinderella wept bitterly. Her aunt, a kind sorceress, approached her and offered her help. She asked Cinderella to bring a pumpkin, which she immediately turned "into a gilded carriage." She touched the mice in a mousetrap with a magic wand and turned them into wonderful horses. A large mustachioed rat became a coachman, and nimble lizards became servants in beautiful liveries.
Auntie conjured up for Cinderella "an outfit of gold and silver brocade, richly embroidered with precious stones" and presented a pair of crystal shoes. Strictly, she ordered the happy girl to return home no later than midnight, otherwise all the magic would disappear: the carriage "will again become a pumpkin, horses will turn into mice, servants - into lizards, and a magnificent outfit - into an old dress."
In the middle of the ball, the prince was informed that some unknown princess had arrived for the celebration.
Silence fell immediately in the hall: the guests stopped dancing, the violinists stopped playing - so everyone was amazed at the beauty of the unknown princess.
The king could not resist and whispered to the queen that "I have not seen such a beautiful and sweet girl for a long time."
The whole evening Cinderella danced with the prince, who fell in love with her at first sight. Hearing that the clock struck three-quarters of eleven, she hastened to return home so that the magic spell would not dissipate.
The next day, Cinderella reappeared at the ball, and this time, thanks to her aunt, she "was even more elegant than the first time." She was having so much fun that she didn’t notice the clock striking midnight.
In fear, Cinderella left the castle, and the prince could not catch up with her. In a hurry, she dropped the crystal slipper that the prince found. No one saw how the princess disappeared, the guards noticed only a badly dressed peasant woman who slipped through the gate.
A few days later, it was announced that the prince would marry someone who "will have a crystal slipper on his feet." The tiny slipper was tried on by all the noble ladies in the kingdom, but it did not fit anyone.
They brought a crystal slipper to the sisters of Cinderella. The girl could not resist and asked the courtier to let her try it on. She came to her at the very time. But everyone was even more surprised when Cinderella "took a second shoe of the same kind out of her pocket and put it on the other leg."
The sorceress immediately appeared and conjured a wonderful outfit to Cinderella. The sisters recognized her as an unfamiliar princess and began to ask for forgiveness for treating her so badly. Cinderella happily forgave them, got into the carriage and went to the palace to the prince, where a few days later they played a magnificent wedding.