Errol le Cain
"There’s a passage in Søren Kierkegaard’s work where he likens all of us to people at a costume ball. “Do you not know that there comes a midnight hour when every one has to throw off his mask?” At the time, the custom was to keep your mask on for the first part of festivities. During that time, you danced, ate, and talked with the other guests, but no one knew who anyone else was. But then at midnight all masks had to be stripped off and everyone’s true identity was revealed. In some ways, the Cinderella story is an extension of this theme, that an hour comes in which all the layers of glitter are taken away and the real, unvarnished you stands there, unfiltered for all to see."
Surlalune's annotations include this: "Midnight is the most common time given as a deadline in the Cinderella tale. Since midnight marks the beginning of a new day and the end of power in the old day, such a deadline is also reasonable. Midnight also marks the beginning of the witching hour." By the way, I've enjoyed reading about early Cinderellas over on the Surlalune blog recently, I hope you all have too!