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The Stepmother In Literature, Movies And Cartoons

Updated on April 28, 2014


This a story about a stepmother that has problems being the new mother.
This a story about a stepmother that has problems being the new mother. | Source

Evil From The Start

The woman has been evil for a long time. All she needs is to marry the right husband with money. Presto! The evil stepmother tag is branded on her.

Let's talk a look at Cinderella. In most tales, the mother is dead. In any case, the mother is not in the picture anymore. She is not even heard from as wanting to talk to her child.

The Disney version of the Cinderella's new mother is one that only wants the best for her own kids. She makes Cinderella become the maid of the house. There are no other servants, except for maybe they guy she pays to drive everyone to the market.

If you notice, Cinderella is not thrown out on the street after her father dies. However, there were no children that lived on the streets in the Disney movie.

In most tales, the girl is not thrown out on the streets. She never becomes an orphan. And, even though the girl does not eat much, she does not starve.

In the Cindermaid by Joseph Jacobs, Cinderella is a princess who's dad remarries. While he is somewhere else, he puts the woman he married in charge of the his daughter. That is were Cinderella gets treated poorly. The woman has no intention of giving the girl any of the better clothing or treating her right. Soon, no one cared for the girl. The father did not even try to convince his new wife that the girl deserved better. The man only agreed with the mother.

From this two tales, it is easy to believe that stepmothers are evil. They have no intention of wanting another child from a past relationship. Also, in the second one the king has little interest in his own daughter. The new mother is not only controlling of Cinderella but of the king, as well.

The stepmother has no magical ability but she refuses to let anyone be nice to the girl.

Too Good

In, The Glass Slipper, Cinderella is too good. She does everything right. This makes the stepmother feel like she can do nothing right. Her kids will never be as good as the little girl or the dead wife.

So, what does the woman do? She resents the girl.

The little girl is more like Snow White, then the girl in most tales of Cinderella. No matter how badly the girl was treated, she would always act better than her own daughters.

Instead, of holding a grudge against her sisters, Cinderella excepts their late apologies and finds men for them to marry.

In the end, the stepmother is only left with her husband. The stepmother never has to give up control of her home or Cinderella's father.

There is no evidence to say that the mother will ever lose control over the daughters. Cinderella's choose to help out gave the mother even more control and benefits. Now with the money that she could have spent on her own daughters, she can use for herself.

Everyone gets to live happily ever after.

What Drives This Woman To Be Evil?


Woman: Today, woman are portrayed in media as sex objects. In order to maintain their beauty they must use their money to look better. However, using their money to maintain an outside child's appearance will take extra time. She already has to maintain her own children's appearance in public.

Why does she have to focus on beauty?

Most of this stories have the woman as the one that has to face the public. She looks good because she needs to play the hostess. An ugly hostess will not take center stage at the party. They mostly likely will pity her. They will offer help to her but they know that she is always going to be ugly. The people might never come back to the house if they think that being there is such a burden to the host.

Why does the children have to be present?

They do not have to be there. However, it is good to keep them around for a small while, just in case someone has decided to bring their children or would like to set up a play date. However, if the children say too long the hostess will look too poor. Children take the attention away from adults.

Woman's Children: They look nice all the time. They might even be forced or bribed to smile. In some cases, the children really do like to be around the mother.

Where do the children go when they leave the scenes in literature?

They normally stay in their rooms. They are just like Cinderella but they do not do chores. All the children can not leave the house. I would imagine that they feel envious to Cinderella because they are not allowed to move around the house, so often.

The grass is too dirty. The house is not clean enough to walk around in because Cinderella is not done with her cleaning. The floors are too wet.

The children are like Rapunzel, waiting for someone to save them. However, they do get to go to the store and fallow their mother. These children would gladly cut off their own toes to get away from their mother.

In some shows, the children go to their room but do not appear again until several episodes later.

Father: Dead. Usually, he is dead.

What if he is not dead?

He falls in love. Soon after, he fells guilty for having placed his daughter in the care of his new wife. He believes things will get better, so much so that he ignores every sign saying that things will never get better.

Father's Child: This is the child that is either too much for the new mother to bare or the girl is so nice that the new mother can not take that any longer. Most of the time, the girl is too nice.

Can she run away?

In most cases, she is too scared. However, if she does run away the girl is put into the hands of someone even more scary. Giving up a child in literature often spells disaster.

It is often, that only an outsider with money can save child that is away from their parents. Pip in, Great Expectations, has someone to help him out. And, Mr. Thomas Carrisford, saved The Little Princess when her father died. The two people that help out take on more of a fairy godfather role and an step parent role.

In other movies, the girl can be seen as hired help. She can get a job, if she has a friend or another lie for her. However, some people don't really look at the help and she might get a free car to leave the home.

This could lead the woman to find the prince or become a wicked step mother in the future.

The Stepmother Is Always Right

In the father's eyes, the stepmother is right. The child is wrong.

In the movie, Nanny Mcphee the children already care about the soon to be step parent. But, they do not care enough to stop their antics against other people. She can not stop them from being naughty children.

Evangeline is only a maid in the house but the father trusts her completely with the children. He never questions her judgement. However, she is only responsible for cleaning up after everyone, not the care of the children.

Only when she became prettier does he notice Evangeline as someone he wants to marry. He wants to marry a wife that can take care of herself, no matter what age the woman. It is status that he cares about not the woman he picks.

Miss Quickly would have been the lady of the house. They would not have been able to do anything about that unless they wanted to be separated for good.

The tale ends sort of happily with Evangeline being the new stepmother.

The mother has only been dead for less then a year. Now, the maid has to take over the job of mother of the house. Duties that she knows little about because most of the time the children have little time to act like children in front of her.

Now, she will want to be respected and obeyed by the children. The children might not respect her so well if they know she does not have what it takes to be a lady. She has only had a few months classes, after all.

Parents Just Don't Understand from DJJazzyJeff VEVO DJJazzyJeffVEVO

The Child Has No Place With Parent

Some children are in fear of a man or a woman because of abuse. This is also present in literature. Adding a woman or a man to the family will only make the new parent seem untrustworthy from the start. Because of abuse the new parent might seem like a new person that only wants to hurt them.

In manga and anime the new parent does not want another child. In Taiyou No Le, manga, the girl's father remarries. She moves out but the father does not seem to care. Even when the goes back to get her stuff, her father gives money to the boy taking care of the girl. The father even go so far as to telling the boy to keep his daughter. His father will pay for the shared rent. All the while, the father does not want to talk to the daughter.

The manga depicts a happy family but the daughter is left out. The step child is given the girl's place in the family.

Unfortunately, in America this does happen. I have witnessed someone in my life not be wanted by a parent in their early teen years. More than once, the teens face moving in with another family to make sure their mother was alright. At 13 and 14 years of age, they were treated as adults able to leave home. They were told they were grown up by their one parent.

At 13 or 14, they could not have voted. They could not legally been given jobs. They had to fake adult consent for everything.

One of their mother's did become a step parent for a time. The people I know never talked about the situation to me as they were real adults with different lives. I guess, a sort of indifference started to build up in the relationship.

You Are The Parent Now

This happens, if you adopt the child. This part is more for the adopted parent but it still applies if the parents are never there for the child.

Your new child's father and mother have died. Congratulations, it is a step kid! Or, adopted kid!

Now, you have to take the place of the parent unless there is a god-parent or someone else mentioned in the Will. Sometimes, social services will be in favor keeping the child in an environment that they are comfortable with in order to heal.

If you have been with them since birth. You might be on the Will to take the child.

In, Kung Fu Panda, Shifu must take care of a baby tiger. He is not a step parent but he talks on the role of parent. The tiger is trained to fight. However, when the tiger grows up Shifu does not know how to comfort the tiger. The tiger has never been taught to handle rejection, either. Shifu does realize his mistake but it is to late to help out.

In the cartoon, Fairy Odd Parents, Cosmo and Wanda become the other parents. Although, his parents live in the same home they are not ready to take care of him.

Sofia The First is similar to title, in that the king becomes the parent to Sofia. He does not fight this at all. In fact, Sofia calls him dad. The king's children call their new mom, mom. They do give Sofia a hard time at first but they really do what to have her as their sister.

In, Stepmom the extreme happens. The dad leaves the mom. The parents become better. But, everything is alright because the real mom is going to die.


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