Ella cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the “gift” of obedience. So, anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: “Instead of making me docile, Lucinda’s curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally.” A sassy character whose pleasing nature keeps her in good stead, the quest for freedom and self-discovery is a prominent theme, as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, by any means necessary, be it fighting ogres too!
In response to the wicked way traditional fairy tales, that admittedly are fun to read, retellings of fairy tales can be as tricky as they come. We have head a backlash from Maleficient, giving a villain a good side doesn’t appeal to some, but I’m the type to see a fairy tale from all perspectives, Frozen is lovably known for giving us that realistic scenery that sometimes, the ideal Prince isn’t the best pick. Fairy tales are growing to give us a step into something fascinating. The idea that girls should behave like princesses in order to wait for their Prince charming to save the day is a thing of the past, it always should of been so its about time we should recognise; many authors have tried to reclaim the realm of fairy tales for girls.
These retellings feature active protagonists who are not scared of taking charge and do not need princes to save them.
Ella Enchanted, released in 1997 by Gail Carson Levine, gives the films we are now viewing that reason to voice out a new theme in fairy tales. A book parallel to the story of Cinderella, with the evil step-sisters and fairy godmother are present throughout the narrative; highlighting many undertones, like negotiating and fighting the burden of obedience, the importance of female friendships and staying true to yourself. A fairy tale, that really showcases great role models for girls, as all of the female characters are strong, self-aware women; something that is misused and misguided in most fairy tale genres. By the end of the novel, Ella is shown as someone who is collectively strong and as the reader, you’ve got to give her a round of applause.
As light hearted, with all the traditional forms of a fairy with a lovable twist, with a pinch of salt this fairy tale pushes the boundaries and gives a unique spin on the classics; an entertaining page-turner leaving readers feeling satisfied when they reach the final scene where Levine ties everything together, enjoyable for fans looking for a fairy tale ending for all ages. Levine presents us with a character we can all relate to, Ella is a strong, intelligent role model who pushes and fights to find her way to find her happy ever after.
Publisher: Harper Trophy
Released Date: 1997