Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Adapting Korean Cinderella Folklore as Fairy Tales for Children
by Yang, Su Jin, Ph.D., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2014, 213; 3622966
Abstract (Summary)

Cinderella stories are one of the most popular fairy tales in the world. At the same time, they are most stigmatized by people for describing a weak and passive female protagonist. To discover possible explanations for this continuing popularity of Cinderella stories, I chose to analyze the Kongjwi Patjwi story, one of the Cinderella tales in Korea. The Kongjwi Patjwi story is one of the well-known folktales in Korea that has been adapted for children since the beginning of the 20th century. Since the Kongjwi Patjwi story is not familiar to many western people, I first analyze two of the folklore versions of Kongjwi Patjwi to prove that this story is also one kind of Cinderella tale. Both of them have the "innocent, persecuted heroine" theme, which is one of the most distinctive features of Cinderella tales. In one version, the plot follows almost exactly the same trajectory as European Cinderella tales in that it has the lost shoe motif and marriage with the Prince. The biggest difference between the Korean Cinderella and other Cinderella stories is that there is another plot in the Korean Cinderella story as the passive protagonist matures and becomes an independent woman. In some of the adapted fairy tale versions for children, this plot does not appear and the Korean Cinderella becomes another passive girl who is rescued by her Prince Charming. One of the reasons for this change is that the mothers, the buyers of the children's books, want the "Prince Charming's rescue" plot because they find that it is hard to become an independent woman in Korean society. To accommodate the consumers' wants and needs, publishers intentionally change the plots with passive protagonists. The folklore version of Kongjwi Patjwi actually suggests a more independent and mature female character which would be a good role model for many young boys and girls.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Geer, Jennifer
Commitee: Dorwick, Keith, Wilson, Mary Ann
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian literature, Folklore
Keywords: Children's literature, Cinderella, Fairy tales, Folklore, Kongjwi Patjwi, Korean folklore
Publication Number: 3622966
ISBN: 978-1-303-95156-5
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