Martha Bartter, a US critic, editor, and author, best known for her scholarship and teaching. In her Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts discusses about many different books and sources on Beauty and the Beast. She goes into detail about De Beaumont’s “Beauty and the Beast” and how it’s neither a “fairy tale” nor a “folk tale”. It isn’t a fairy tale because it has no fairies in it. It isn’t a folk tale in a strict sense.
We have no certainty that “Beauty and the Beast” tale was told by the “folk” of the 18th century. Beaumont’s Beauty really enjoys reading. The presence of a library in the Beast’s castle helps Beauty become satisfied living there. Disney movies frequently doesn’t allow the mom to have a significant role. The original story seems to scold those who believe that the most important aspects of a “good marriage” are wealth, high position, and good looks.
Since the rose signifies virginity in a woman , then what can this enchanted flower mean for a man? Before the rose opens it may have a phallic shape. Symbolically, one might think of the loves of bread that miraculously turned into roses in the basket of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. The fact that the rose is losing its petals must have metaphoric significance- something more than “gather ye rosebuds while ye may”
Bruno Bettelheim, best known for freelance ideas on child psychology, wrote many successful child psychology books. The most famous piece of writing from him is The Uses of Enchantment : The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. He claims that the great lesson of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is that “things must be loved before it is considered lovable”.
The father in ‘Beauty and the Beast” causes his daughter to marry, abandoning his oedipal attachment to his daughter. Which includes her giving up her to guide them both to a joyful solution for both of them. Beauty is loved by her father as she loves him just as deeply. Beauty saves her father and the Beast by handing over her attachment from father to lover.
There are three main features to the stories of the animal-groom cycle. It remains a mystery of how and why the groom was changed into an animal. Second, the sorceress who did this deed did not get punished for her wrong doings. Third, Beauty’s father is the one who causes her to join the Beast even though she does it because she loves her father. Beauty believes that only marriage made sex permissible because her mother plays no significant role in her life.
Jean Cocteau, a French poet, writer, designer, playwright, artist, and filmmaker, who is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles and the film The Blood of a Poet. In his film Beauty and the Beast the theme is not emphasized sufficiently but is that Beauty and the Beast can be seen as another of Cocteau’s filmed treatments of the theme of the death and rebirth of the poet.
In the original story Beauty is the main character, but in the film the attention is focused more on the Beast, who similar to the poet must perish in one form in order to be reborn in another. Cocteau’s cherished theme of the cursed poet with magic powers, and who is not acknowledged until those powers have been broken. In the film two arrows were fired.
One in the beginning of the film and one at the end. Avenant fired the first one and it lands in the middle of the floor. La Belle refused Avenant’s offer of marriage, choosing to stay with her father who was not ill over her beau. She chose a relationship she was dependent on since childhood.
According to Pauline Kael the film’s ambiguous: “ What we have gained cannot take the place of what we have lost”. The ambiguity is missing in the original story. In Cocteau’s films or plays love always requires a sacrifice, and that sacrifice is very often that of a human life.
Thomas J. Sienkewicz, an author, best known for his book Theories of Myth: An Annotated Bibliograph. He states that Beaumont was a writer who advocated firmly for the education of women, and she saw a story that could both entertain her audience and instruct them on proper behavior in life. The fairy tale explores consequences and implications for young women entering adulthood.
The task set to Beauty are all unpleasant, but she completes them all without complaining. She puts her interest of her family above her own. “Beauty and the Beast” as a whole remains a complex fairy tale. The story presents a young girls attempts to navigate the challenging expectations of an adult world that fails to treat her as an equal. The fairy tale makes it clear of the importance of social and economic class to the narrative that follows.
Beauty is confronting a corporeal manifestation of innocent fear of sexuality and adulthood. However, she must overcome this fear. She leaves behind childhood. She no longer has the guidance of her father and she must make her own decisions when it comes to interacting with the Beast. Beauty shows remarkable self- confidence and courage considering she was always dependent of her father.
When Beauty almost loses the beast she fulfills her transition to adulthood by agreeing to marry the beast. The lesson of this tale is that young women should willfully and joyfully submit themselves to the system of economic marriage and self-sacrifice in order to aid their husbands and fathers.