“Beauty and Beast: The women as the true Beast of the classic fairytale” Beauty is a very controversial topic in our world, since not everyone thinks of it in the same terms. Here, I will discuss how beauty is, in actuality, the true beast of this classic story. If we think about the word “beast” we might also find unaccountable opinions about the topic. Although there are different concepts of what a ‘beauty’ is and what a ‘beast’ is, we will look at the different variations of this fairy tale and this humble student’s point of view. In the first story for example, written by Jeanne-Marie LePrince, and considered the most well known, we have a kind, sweet and honest girl who’s family life and consideration for her father are her strong points. And yet, she asks for a simple rose, which leads to the complicated relationship she soon develops with the Beast. While with the Beast, Beauty shows a side of her not seen at the beginning with her family. Beauty becomes strong-willed, superficial and a bit vain. She frequently refuses to marry the beast, yet she readily admits to feel affection for him. It is a bit ironic however, that she later decides she could marry the beast, if only because he is kind to her and makes her happy, despite the fact that she is still not in love with him. It is only when he finally turns human that she falls in love with him. So, can this even really be considered ‘love’? Or is she not acting just as the sisters who ill-treat her? For her sisters married for looks and wealth, so, can this not also be applied to Beauty’s relationship with Beast in the end? And so, is she really as ‘honest’, ‘innocent’ and ‘kind’, as is continuously said about her? Personally, I see a flaw in her, because in the beginning she only likes the beast, for his personality, but when she finally “falls” in love with the prince, it is because of what she saw in him. His physical features, not his inner self. This is why I see her as superficial as her sisters when it comes to looks. This version of Beauty is still, however, still considered giving and selfless, just like the ‘Beauty’ from Giovanni’s ‘The Pig King’, Meldina. In these two stories, we see two naturally giving women, who barely go through any changes in personality at all throughout the story. However, there are also selfish and cruel beauties, which do not change personalities either until the very end of their story, if they change at all. This however, only happens when their ‘beast’ turns into the stereotypical ‘handsome prince’. Such is the situation in ‘The Frog King’, where the princess, in her rage of having to cater to a frog, picks it up and throws it against a wall. Again, we have signs of superficiality, for only when he turns into the handsome prince are we left to assume she became kind to him. But, can this be called ‘changing’? For we are given no indication that the princess changed her snobby ways at all once she married the frog-turned-prince. It could, in fact, be interpreted as that she didn’t even want to marry him after he transforms into a human. This behavior is an indicator of dislike and total rejection, in which her father is the one who dictates the marriage. When he fell to the ground, he was no longer a frog but a prince with beautiful, beaming eyes. At her father’s bidding, he became her dear companion and husband (p. 50)
Probably one of the more interesting, yet particularly disturbing stories is Giovanni Francesco’s ‘The Pig King’. In this story, it’s not just implied, but written clearly, that the beauty, Meldina, sleeps with her pig-husband. It could be seen either as the devoted wife looking beyond appearances to love her husband, or seen as a mere desire to help herself obtain wealth and comfort, as is hinted at, and my personal belief. …Meldina answered, with a grateful smile upon her face, that she was quite content to do as the queen asked her, and thanked her humbly for deigning to choose her as a...
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