In the last decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21th, the fairy tale witnessed a remarkable dialectical development by the vast majority of fairy tale writers and critics who have contributed to the popularization of the genre. This study offers a discursive and historical analysis of the traditional fairy tale of Cinderella and its modern retelling in the cyberpunk science-fiction genre as seen in Marissa Meyer’s Cinder: The Lunar Chronicles novel. The traditional fairy tale usually regenerates social and cultural constructions, mainly those norms on gendering the female body. It is argued that contemporary posthuman critical theory has been fundamental in contributing to current debates and negotiating the traditional gendering issue, particularly in regard to the female and female cyborg body. Taking advantage of the contemporary posthuman critical theory, and the cyborg subject presented by Donna Haraway and promoted by Anne Balsamo’s readings on the cyborg, the principal objective of this study is to investigate the main reasons and social constructions behind a female image model that lasted for many centuries and which is still active, and to scrutinize the traditional fairy tale of Cinderella under these lenses. The most obvious finding to emerge from the study is that cyborg technologies have been adopted by Haraway and her contemporaries, offering a chance to challenge all the biased sexual politics, gendering norms and other social practices that depict the female body in an exaggerated feminized way and draw a faulty image of woman for the generations to come.
Fairy tale; cyberpunk; posthuman; cyborg; female body; Cinderella; Cinder