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The Trouble With Beauty And The Beast

683 words - 3 pages

Beauty and the Beast centers on Belle who is desired by handsome but egocentric Gaston. Belle’s father, disappears on a journey to a local fair and becomes captive of the Beast. Belle bravely offers herself as an alternative hostage and Beast accepts. As his prisoner, Belle befriends Beast’s household of Enchanted Objects, all talking, walking furniture and kitchen utensils. Belle learns about how the Beast and his staff are all the victims of a witch’s curse that has transformed them. They fall in love during her hostage. In the end, Bella’s love reverses the spell on the Beast.
Disney attempts to show the feminist qualities of Belle. For example the movie portrays her as intelligent and not easily swayed by love, in the case of Gaston. However, the Beast is advertised as the possessor of ‘beauty’ and Belle must learn its nature; Belle’s fate is his. It is Belle, robbed by her traditional beauty, who is being instructed from the Beast in how to elicit beauty form beastliness. She must learn to love ugliness and literally embrace the bestial. Another problematic element might be Belle’s declared “feistiness”. When she was accosted by the beast, all she did was raise her eyebrow at his size instead of just standing up at him to hand over the key to her father’s prison so that she can leave. Sizing the Beast was a moment of identification for the woman spectator, a moment of recognition and realization that female desire is captured before it is aroused.
Belle is truly trapped; she is stripped of her traditional strength and learning. So it is Belle’s utility as a female, and not her beauty, that makes her attractive and valuable entirely domesticated by Beast. In one of the scenes, Belle abandons her pledge to remain as prisoner and leaves, only to be attacked by wolves, rescued by Beast. In turn, she nurses the wounded Beast from this event. This when the romance blooms. In fact Belle is never threatened enough to...

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