"Beauty and the Beast": A Feminist Interpretation
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The paper discusses how "Beauty and the Beast" may appear to be explaining to girls that virtue is the most important characteristic to look for in a mate, but it is actually advocating themes of women's unimportance in a marriage, the need for submission and their lack of self expression. The paper argues that "Beauty and the Beast" also implies that women are inferior to men.
From the Paper:"Writing in the introduction to Jean-Marie Leprince de Beaumont's "Beauty and the Beat," Maria Tatar notes that versions of the story have been making their way across the world for centuries. This version, however, is the one most known by Anglo-Americans, and it was intended as a cautionary tale for women and girls, according to Tater, who suggested that it was meant to emphasize the importance of virtue rather than intelligence or looks when marrying. Indeed, Tater's interpretation of the story can be taken further, as she also argues that "Beauty and the Beast" was a tale meant to encourage young women who were forced to marry older men. In this interpretation, the fact that the beast transforms into a handsome, intelligent prince after Beauty marries him may signify the fact that a happy marriage can be derived even from those marriages in which there is a great age difference or in which the man is ugly or unintelligent. It may even serve as a way to inform a wife that she can transform her husband. The tone, style, and content of de Beaumont's "Beauty and the Beast" lend to its interpretation as a cautionary tale. A great deal of authorial intrusion informs readers when Beauty has made a good choice and why that choice can be considered a positive one. The tone that emerges in these authorial intrusions is the tone of a wise, motherly figure. Even noting this, however, the actual purpose of "Beauty and the Beast" can be debated. Although it may serve a rather benign purpose, explaining to girls that virtue is the most important characteristic to look for in a mate, the story, when viewed from a feminist perspective, may also be considered quite malevolent. "
Sample of Sources Used:
- de Beaumont, Jean-Marie Leprince. "Beauty and the Beast." The Annotated Classic Fairytales. Ed. Maria Tater. New York, Norton, 2002. 58-94.
- Griswold Jerome and Jerry Griswold. The Meanings of "Beauty and the Beast." Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2004.
- Tatar, Maria. The Annotated Classic Fairytales. New York: Norton, 2002.
Cite this Persuasive Essay:
"Beauty and the Beast": A Feminist Interpretation (2011, December 05) Retrieved September 20, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/persuasive-essay/beauty-and-the-beast-a-feminist-interpretation-149308/
""Beauty and the Beast": A Feminist Interpretation" 05 December 2011. Web. 20 September. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/persuasive-essay/beauty-and-the-beast-a-feminist-interpretation-149308/>