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Cinders by Glowacki

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Cinders is a play written by the Polish playwright Janusz Glowacki in 1981. The action of the play takes place in a reform school for girls near Warsaw, and it criticizes the political situation in Poland at that time. The main characters of this play are girls from the school, who play four characters of the fairy tale Cinderella. These are: Cinderella herself, her fairy godmother, the Prince, and the ugly sister. The government of Poland wanted to create a propaganda film from a Cinderella story, thus a director came to the school to film the performance.

Critics consider Cinders to be a powerful play, and it is true, because Glowacki showed by means of main heroines those people, who were living under martial law in Poland. Four girls are interrogated by a director, and as a result they reveal personal secrets, except one girl, Cinderella. In order to make the girl tell what she knows, the director together with the deputy head of the school framed Cinderella as an informant, and she broke. This event clearly shows that girls in the school are not free. Those people, who have power, can do what they want and play with lives of innocent people.

For example, the other character of the play, the principal of the school, chose the fairy tale Cinderella to be performed, because he knew that it would be meaningless for girls. He used his power to control girls, though the principal is a weak person himself. The deputy of the school is strict with the girls, and eventually girls become unhappy, because they do not feel free in their school and do what they are told to do.

Cinders describes both powerful and powerless characters. Powerful characters are free, because they have power and can control others, and other characters have no power, and that is why they have to submit.

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