Beauty and the Beast

Project: Fairy Tale hosted by Alison @ The Cheap Reader

projectfairytalebutton2Banner created and designed by Alisa @ Picture Me Reading

Project: Fairy Tale has begun! As you’ve known, the fairy tale I’ve chosen is Beauty and the Beast (my sign up post can be found here). I believe there are a lot of Beauty and the Beast versions before, but I decided to choose the most well-known original version written by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont.

To give you a brief background, Beaumont’s version was derived from the work of Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Gallon de Villeneuve. Beaumont’s version is said to be the shortened version of Villeneuve’s. For those of you who are not familiar with the story, here’s my summary of the tale:

BB05The story begins with the introduction of the characters. A rich merchant has six children: three sons and three daughters. All of his children are good-looking, but the youngest is the most beautiful of all; thus, calling her by the name of “Beauty”. They live a fortunate life, but later on lost everything. While Beauty accepts and embraces the life of poor, her siblings do otherwise. Moreover, her sisters keep insulting and mocking her (due to jealousy), but Beauty remains humble and patient.

When the merchant goes on a journey and fails to receive what he hopes for, he comes back empty-handed. On the way home, he gets lost in the forest and comes across the Beast’s palace. He is treated well, but when the merchant tries to pick roses for Beauty, the act angers the Beast and makes a condition that one of the merchant’s daughters will live with the Beast willingly. Upon returning home, the merchant relays the news to his children and it is Beauty who volunteers. As sad as it may seem, the father reluctantly agrees due to Beauty’s determination. That night, Beauty dreams of a woman telling her that her sacrifice for her father will not go unrewarded.

BB02At the palace, Beauty is treated well by the Beast and later on, a friendship is formed between the two. She is given more than she hopes for, but when the Beast proposes to Beauty to become his wife, Beauty declines, but she still promises never to leave the Beast. She hopes to return home to see her father once again and the Beast agrees, giving her a week until she comes back again.

Upon returning home, Beauty’s wicked sisters becomes more jealous of her beauty and her present happy state that they plan to delay her stay a week longer than planned. It is only then that Beauty starts to reflect and realizes that she loves Beast, so she returns to the Beast, who is slowly dying, and after confessing her love to him, the Beast transforms into a charming prince. And they live happily ever after. Beauty’s two sisters, though, have been transformed into statues at the palace by the woman in Beauty’s dream.

BB04Despite the shortness of the story, I immediately got hooked. The simplicity and purity of the tale makes it worth reading. Beauty and the Beast is surely the perfect example of the saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” There are also some magical elements contained in the story that makes it more interesting to read, such as the power the ring manifests which enables a person to transport from point A to point B, and a few more others. I’m quite curious, though, who does all the palace chores since servants are not mentioned in the story? Either way, the way the palace is described seems to project a positive feeling that one can wish to live there.

untitledMoving on, to compare this to the Disney movie, I can actually see a lot of similarities and differences. To start off with the differences, firstly, Beauty’s father is a merchant while Belle’s father is an inventor. Secondly, Beauty has brothers and sisters whereas Belle has none and is just an only child. Thirdly, the servants in the movie have been transformed into furniture and utensils while in the original story, nothing is mentioned about servants. And lastly, the antagonists for the original tale are Beauty’s sisters, while their counterparts in the movie have been compiled into the characterization of Gaston.

As for the similarities, I just want to emphasize that both ladies like to read books and they get to have their own massive libraries! Aside from that, the concept of the story remains the same for the two.

BB03

Beauty and Belle are both portrayed as brave, independent, and humble, not the usual damsel-in-distress girls in some fairy tales who have to wait for their knights in shining armors for a happy ending. With this said, the relationship they have with the Beast is slowly developed as time passes from friendship and eventually turned into love. In a way, I’m quite amazed that the story explored the true meaning of love, not the love-at-first-sight scenes we often see and read in most fairy tales.

In both stories, beauty is symbolized in the form of roses and in the very person of Beauty and Belle. The essence of beauty is so important to the Beast, explicitly showing his hatred towards his appearance, that he tries to capture beauty by confining it and making it his own, never wanting to let go. This is evident when he becomes sensitive at the moment someone touches his rose/s as well as when he lets Beauty and Belle live in his palace.

BB01

And of course, like any other stories, there’s a moral lesson to it which can be applied in every day life. While physical appearance contributes to one’s first impressions on the person, it can still be deceiving. Both stories teach us that in order to fully know a person, what’s underneath their skins and whatever is within their hearts are far more important.

2011 - Beauty and the BeastJeff Bridges as the Beast; Penélope Cruz as Belle

(You can check out my Disney Dream Portrait Series post for more.)

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About Rhin

Expression through words. Finding contentment in the simple things in life. Embracing opportunities. Daring to live her dream. View all posts by Rhin

23 responses to “Beauty and the Beast

  • Alyssa

    Admittedly, when I heard about PFT and saw that someone had already grabbed Beauty and the Beast I was like “NOOO!! CURSES!!!” but then I got over it and I must say this is a wonderful post!! The artwork is phenomenal!! I have actually never read the original story but it sounds pretty wonderful, I will have to look for it soon.

    Awesome post, yay for Project Fairy Tale!!

    • Rhin

      Yey for Project Fairy Tale indeed! And yeah, the artworks are definitely awesome. I think I might have “stolen” this fairy tale from some of you. I saw others wanted Beauty and the Beast, too. Hahaha! I got so excited when Alison announced the project and I replied immediately.

      I believe the original tale can be found in public domain, but I’ve seen variations in its interpretations. I saved a copy I found, though. If you want, let me know so I can send one to you ^_^

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • Alice in Readerland

    Fantastic post, I loved reading it! 🙂 I also love how Belle is portrayed as independent, kind, & loving books, I’ve always adored her character. Excited to see the rest of your posts! 🙂

  • picturemereading

    I love this story so much! It really touches my heart 🙂 I am really looking forward to your posts!

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    […] Perfect Nostalgia – A fun blogger who is participating in Project Fairytale! Her tale is Beauty and The Beast and I can’t wait to read her reviews! […]

  • Quinn

    What a great post! My first post for Project Fairy Tale is going up tomorrow. Anyway, Beauty & the Beast is probably my favorite fairytale. I’ve read a ton of retellings, and can’t wait to see what you thought of the ones you’ve read.

    You did a great comparison to Disney’s B&B, which happens to be one of my favorite movies. I’ve seen the extras on the movie, and someone (maybe one of the producers for the movie) said that Walt Disney never thought he could do B&B because basically it’s a story of a beast asking a girl to marry him every night at dinner, and the girl always saying no. Years later, when Disney was trying to make it a movie, the original plan was to stay closer to the fairy tale, but it wasn’t working. So the scrapped it, and tried looking at it a new way. Hence we have evil Gaston, servants becoming objects (Howard Ashman’s idea! and all that stuff. I think that stuff is so interesting.

    Project Fairy Tale is going to be so much fun!

    • Rhin

      Beauty and the Beast isn’t exactly my favorite fairy tale before, but after learning its original tale and reading some of its retellings, I have slowly come to love B&B.

      Wow, I didn’t know about that. But yeah, it would really come out weird if Disney is going to stay close to the original tale. I don’t think it will catch that much attention to the audience, especially the kids. I’m glad with the outcome of the movie they came up with. It’s much more fun and entertaining. Thanks for sharing!

  • Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books

    Yay I loved reading this, Rhin! To continue on the idea that Beauty likes to read, in the original tale it was less for entertainment as it is for Belle. Beauty is also the intelligent child, and intelligence (and morality/virtue) is valued a lot in that story, especially if you consider what happens to her sisters. Did you read the frame narrative that goes with the original story as told by Beaumont? Even if it’s just for personal reference, it’s really interesting. This was intended to be a completely didactic tale originally. Looking forward to more posts! 🙂

    • Rhin

      Hi, Amanda! Thank you ! And thanks for pointing those things out, too. I totally agree with what you said. The story may be simple, but it still allows us some room for discussion and more in-depth analysis.

      I don’t think I have read the frame narrative. Hey, if you happen to have a copy or a link (if it’s available in public domain), let me know! I would like to read it. ^_^

  • Dennis

    Another spectacular review, Rhin. I love the artwork you include in your posts 😀 Looking forward to your next review 😀

  • Mel@thedailyprophecy.

    So you were the lucky one who got my favorite fairytale EVER (L) I just.. love it so much! The way Belle and the beast are slowly falling in love with each other. How the beast is starting to change for her. I just love the fact that Disney is telling little children that you can love someone despite their appearance 🙂 Belle is an amazing character. She is so different from other princesses and I like that she is the one to save the prince instead of the other way around.

    Pretty artwork and I like how you talked about my precious story ❤
    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

    • Rhin

      Thank you! Beauty and the Beast really separates from other fairy tale stories in terms of how love is developed between the main characters and the lessons it try to tell us. I’m glad I chose this for Project: Fairy Tale. By reading its original story and retellings, I’m beginning to love B&B more!

  • Quirky Chrissy

    Beautiful artwork. I ❤ Disney! It's always interesting to me to see the way Disney changes things. I find myself wondering why for some and completely understanding others.

    • Rhin

      It’s really interesting to see how people depict the story of Beauty and the Beast through their artworks. Me too, I LOVE Disney. You can always go back to Disney no matter how old you are.

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