Comparing Trousdale's Beauty And The Beast

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Throughout Fairytale history, there has been numerous tellings and retellings of the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ story. The mediums used to portray this evolving narrative greatly influence and affect what aspects of the tale are emphasised and how this positions the audience. Beaumont’s La Belle et La Bête, the eighteenth century version of the tale greatly differs from the Disney modern retelling through film, Gary Trousdale’s Beauty and the Beast (1991). Although the narrative of both tales may be similar, a disparity exists between them. Aspects such as the portrayals of both Beauty and Beast, the emphasis on class and the way female characters are positioned in the story differs from literary tale to screen. Much emphasis is placed upon both…show more content…
She lives a very bourgeois lifestyle, the daughter of a “rich merchant” (Beaumont 805) who, along with her two sisters, is overcome with marriage proposal due to her wealth. The figure of a woman who reads is a trait very much belonging to the Beauty character, and is possibly a representation of the students Beaumont taught, or if you will, an idealised version of them. Beaumont is creating Beauty as not only a wealthy and intelligent girl, but she is someone who holds important morals which we learn throughout the table. Beauty could possibly be read as an aspirational figure for the girls Beaumont was teaching, this becomes clearer as we explore Beauty’s actions throughout the narrative. From the outset of the tale we are given three prominent female characters that inhabit the story, Beauty and her two sisters. However, the two older sisters are used to contrast Beauty’s good character as they are “very arrogant” went to “balls, the theatre and the park” and “made fun of their younger sister, who spent most of her time reading books” (805). From the outset of the tale we are seeing two distinctive embodiments of female characters, a kind and intelligent woman versus the vain and shallow. Beaumont is perhaps demonstrating how those who do not value education and handwork can easily fall into a vain and spoilt lifestyle which affects character. Throughout the tale the motivation of Beauty’s sisters is to have her out of their lives, they refer to Beauty as “dense (and) stupid” (806) and rejoice at the prospect of her leaving their home forever. In comparison Beauty is constantly considering her sisters feelings, only requesting a rose from her father in order to not “set an example that would disparage her sisters” (807). In contrast, the two sisters view Beauty’s mindfulness as “Beauty’s wish to

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