I was reading Disney’s version of Cinderella to my little Geeklette the other day.

What struck me was the part where the Fairy Godmother just showed up all of a sudden in the middle of the story.

Now that I am much older, and already read a lot of books through the years, I am aware that this part of the story is just so convenient for Cinderella and the entire plot in general.

I mean if I was Cinderella, I would probably ask the following questions:

Where have you been the rest of my life Fairy Godmother?

Why help me only now?

How come  my father never mentioned you?

Your fat you should go on a diet. Better yet can you magic wand your fat away?

(Ehem.)

But naturally these questions were never asked or pointed out by our heroine. It’s either because she was so good, sweet and kind, as emphasized clearly at the start of the story. Or she just could not pass up this probably once in a life time chance to get an instant makeover and strut her thang at the ball. The opportunistic hussy.

Of course, we all know what happens next. Cinderella goes straight to the ball and has a fantastic time right before the clock struck twelve. Then the hunt for the girl who can fit the glass slipper began. Which of course after Cinderella showed proof that she was the enchanting girl at the ball. The Prince married her. And they lived happily ever after.

Cinderella then got back on her evil stepmother and stepsisters by turning them into her personal slaves and made them do all the menial tasks they made her do before.  If they made a mistake they were flogged. Hahahaha!!! Revenge Cinderella!!! Revenge!!!  (Chay that did not happen.) But I wish it did.

Well my point here is, there would not have been a happy ending if it weren’t for the plot device of the Fairy Godmother. She was at that point of the story the Deus Ex Machina.

What is a Deus Ex Machina? No I won’t point you to wiki right now.

Deus Ex Machina is latin for God From The Machine. (What? Blasphemy!!) Would you let me finish?

It’s a plot device where there is a particularly difficult situation in the story which obviously can not be solved by our hero. In short, hopeless case. But then out of nowhere an unexpected intervention, be it a character, ability or object, arrives out of nowhere which was completely unrelated in the plot in the first place. The name came from the fact that in plays performed in ancient Greece, this would happen by the divine interference of a God. Of course said God (actor) would come flying in via a crane or rise up through a trap door. Whatever the conveyance, the God(actor) had to be brought in using a machine.

So there, I didn’t realize this when I was a kid. But definitely I know now that Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother was a Deus Ex Machina. (Hey Chay so was the Prince who passed by Snow White when she was in torpor.) Yes you are correct.

It’s convenient, but I would have liked it if the main character can solve things on her own. But then again, what can our destitute sweet, kind and good heroine to do in that situation?

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