I bet many of students know about Cinderella, a famous fairy tale written by German Grimm brothers. It is an archetypical success story of ordinary people that they can also make their dreams come true if they never give up.
What about the story of Cinder Edna? This is a parody of Cinderella story written by American writer Ellen Jackson, and the story contrasts with Cinderella story, which is about “Cinderella complex,” a term to describe women who want to be dependent on men.
So, here is the story of Cinder Edna, who lived next door to Cinderella. Edna, yet less attractive in appearance than Cinderella, was an independent, positive, and humorous girl. Edna did not believe in fairy godmothers. Instead, she had used her cage-cleaning money to put a dress on layaway for just these kinds of occasions. “And my comfortable loafers will be perfect for dancing,” she said to herself. Finally, they were at the ball.
When Cinderella arrived, the king’s son Randolph was taken by her great beauty. He asked her to dance, but she could only sway a bit. Just then Edna entered the room. It was Randolph’s princely duty to greet everyone, so he came over to say hello. “What is it like, being a prince?” Edna asked, to make conversation. “Quite fantastic,” the prince said, and he turned his head, so that Edna could see how handsome his chin looked from the right side. “Borrring,” Edna thought.
“Excuse me, but we recycle plastic around here,” said a little man with glasses and a warm smile. “Just ignore him,” Randolph said. “He is only my younger brother, Rupert. He lives in a cottage and runs the recycling plant and a home for orphaned kittens.” Edna immediately handed Rupert her cup. “Would you like to dance?” Rupert asked.
They were deep in a conversation when the clock began to strike twelve. Now Cinderella and Cinder Edna left in hurry with a glass shoes and a loafer behind.
Rupert, unlike Randolph, knew how to find his love. What Rupert had to do was to find a girl named Cinder Edna, and see if she can name sixteen different kinds of tuna casserole that Edna told him in the ball. There was no need to find every girl in the town and see if her foot fit the loafer.
So Edna, without any help from others, became a princess. She just presented herself at the ball with the humor and the loafer she had.
Cinder Edna ended up in a small cottage with solar heating. During the day she studied waste disposal engineering and cared for orphaned kittens, at night she and her husband laughed and joked. What about Cinderella? During the day she went to endless ceremonies, at night she sat by the fire with nothing to look at but her husband’s perfect profile.
Now, you also know about Cinder Edna. I want to ask Ewha students: Which shoes do you want to choose, Cinderella’s, or Cinder Edna’s? Who do you think lived more happily ever after?
* Professor Kim Seong-kook has a Master in Business Administration from Seoul National University and a Doctor rer. pol. in Human Resource Management from Mannheim University in Germany.