When reading Tam and Cam by Vo Van Thang and Jim Larson, I noticed there were several similarities to the Walt Disney version of Cinderella. Both of the stories begin with a young woman who was forced to live with her step family after her father had died. Cinderella (Disney’s version), and Tam (Thang and Larson’s version) both grew up hated by the step mothers and step sisters, and were forced to clean and do all the chores and work in the house while the mother and sisters did nothing.
In both stories, the girls had animals that they became friends with and shared stories, dreams, and troubles with. Cinderella loved the company of the mice and birds. Their presence was comforting and they even helped with impossible chores. Likewise, Tam had become friends with the bong fish she raised, and often times spoke to it of her troubles (Thang and Larson, 196). A rooster helped Tam find the bones of the fish (196), and she had the help of birds when faced with the impossible task of sorting through rice (197).
Both stories include a ball, or festival, in which all single young women were encouraged to attend in order for royalty to meet them. The step mothers, in both stories, made up impossible tasks for the main characters to complete before they could attend, and went to the event with their other, cherished daughters. Thankfully, the girls, in both stories, had someone to help and guide them when times got tough. When Cinderella was unable to find a way to the
ball, her Fairy Godmother came through and provided her with a gown, glass slippers, and a carriage. Tam had Buddha’s help in producing the four things she needed to attend the festival (197).
The girls, in both versions of the story, finished their tasks, made it to the event, and won the hearts of the royal men (much to the disgust and jealous envy of their step mothers and sisters). Both stories include the girls having fled the event, lost one of their shoes in doing...