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O'Neill, Lauren

Page history last edited by Lauren O'Neill 6 years, 6 months ago

Lauren O'Neill

Major : Early Childhood

Contact information : Fd7200@wayne.edu 


Visual Media Project 

The little red riding hood.

 Visual media art..





Copy of O'Neil Visual Media Project


Final Project

As of right now I'm thinking of doing Cinderella And looking at how when in our book things were set in stone and how things now relate As well as the meaning behind some of the things that were stated in the story. Hope fully I'm going down the right path here.   I am going to change and do beauty and the beast for my final paper.

Topic: I think I am going to explore how much of a roll gender plays in the fairy tale, as well as how beauty and the beast has not only evolved  in gender rolls but as a whole story as well. Going deeper into the different meaning we can come up with for this fairy tale.


Resources So far

Children's Literature Association Quarterly, Volume 20, Number 1, Spring 1995Romancing the Plot: The Real Beast of Disney's Beauty and the Beast


Beauty And The Beast: Visions and Revisions of an Old Tale: 1950-1985



The Relationship between Oral and Literary Tradition as a Challenge in Fairy-Tale Research: The Case of Finnish Folktales



In the fairy tale “ Beauty and The Beast”  The subject of gender role come's up a lot. What a women should do and what a women shouldn’t do in their time. How the role of a female is at times frowned upon if not how their society wanted it to be. This was back then, Now in the twenty first century things have changed. Or haven’t they? Have the roles of women changed or is it still the same but protrayed in a different view?  





Final Paper 


Growing up as little girls we all wanted to be just like the princesses in the fairy tales we were read before bed. One fairy tale that a lot of little girls  fell in love with is  “ The beauty in the Beast”. In Beauty in the beast we see how over time as the story  evolves with time. What is portrayed as what society wants and how it should be .Beauty and the beast has evolved over time to fit the way our society has evolved over time.


 “Beauty and the beast” is a very well known fairy tale. With this fairy tale it is very easy for many cultures to adjust the fairy tale to their own culture. Each culture has their own way they want their little girls to be raised and how they want them to live when they grow up. Some cultures want their women to look weak, powerless, to feel like they can only listen to their husbands or their fathers if they are not married off yet.  While other cultures want women to be head strong, to have a voice. They want them to be able to take control.


There are so many different versions of this fairy tale.  An original version of the story was published in 1757. Ever since then it has been re-worded and remade. The most famous versions of this fairy tale now are the Disney versions of this tale. Which over the years has changed, but the one thing they all have in common is that, the women are trying to save their father and are loving to everyone.


 This fairy tale is different from most of the other fairy tales. This is because in this fairy tale that was published in 1757 .The beautiful daughter wants to give her life to save her fathers life. She has three sisters and three brothers as well. Her wanting to give her life for her fathers came about because, her father was going to take a rose from this beast’s home and the beast wasn’t having it. Who would have thought that just a simple rose could cause someone’s live.  After the father told the beast about his daughters he told him he would take one of his daughters in return for his life. The father didn’t want to do that. The beast told him if he went home and didn’t return with one of daughter’s he would kill him. So the beast let the merchant (Father) take a chest full of what ever he wanted to the house, as long as he and one of his daughter’s returned. Once he got home, he told his family and they all were torn. All but Beauty, she told her father she would go, it was all her fault because she wanted a rose. Her father told her NO. As well as her brothers said they would fight the beast even die trying before they let him kill their sister.  Beauty didn’t listen, she told her father she was going and he couldn’t stop her. Her sisters faked tears as they left the next day as her brothers cried real tears.  Beauty and her father went to the beast house. The beast saw beauty and saw how beautiful she was. He asked her if she came at her own will, and she told him yes.  The beast told her she was very kind, and how grateful he was for her. Now why on earth would he be grateful for a women he was about to kill? Her father had to be gone by the morning. And that he was, Beauty then walked all around this great castle. Seeing that the beast was going to devour her by the evening.  She then came across a door that said “ Beauty’s Room”.  Why on earth would she have a room with her name on the door I she was going to die. Beauty sat down for dinner.  She told the beast he was her master and he told her No, that she is the Mistress in the castle. If I bother you tell me and I will leave you alone. Once the story started to come to an end Beauty started to fall in love for the beast not for his looks. For the many other things he offered her. He let her go back to see her father for a week and told her if she didn’t come back he would kill himself. She returned two weeks later to find him almost dead in the garden. She told him she loved him and would marry him. After that he turned into a handsome prince. She had broken the spell that was put on him once before.  Beauty was touched by the kindness of his heart and character. The reason I told you about this story is because this is not the story growing up we were not read.  This is where all of the many different versions of  “The Beauty and The Beast”come from.  There is meaning behind this story that as young children we do not understand.  That is why growing up we were all ready the loving version of this fairy tale by Disney.


Beauty was like no other girl. She was loving kind, very humble and very smart. Beauty cleaned and cooked and cared for everyone in the house and wanted nothing but for everyone to be taken care of. She was unlike other women in fairy tales. She was head strong and would do anything for her loved ones. When not many authors at the time wanted any of their women in their stories to be portrayed that way. They all wanted the women to depend on men for everything in life. When in this version she didn’t at all.  The many versions that were made all had different affects on everyone.  The one that I and many people always knew were the Disney versions for “ The Beauty and the Beast”.


Most Disney versions use this version as a bouncing off point. They were  both made in very different times. They're hardly comparable. But our Disney stories are reflective of life in the 1900s and modern problems. The original fairytales are reflective of life hundreds of years go in a very different time. And they reflect that. A good story doesn't need torture, murder and horrific elements to be good, particularly not a child's story. It was designed to scare children. NOT TEACH THEM. Scare them. Disney's stories calmed down the violence because if all you do is throw threats at children, it doesn't actually teach. Yes, old fairy tales were about LIFE LESSONS. They were there to warn children about the risks ahead. While fairy tales now in our time don’t really teach children boys or girls to much of any type of life lesson. Most of the fairy tales always have a happy ending when in life there isn’t always a happy ending.


In the Disney’s version of  Beauty and the Beast ,An enchanted Place, Which is a version that is told a lot now. Her name is Belle, Belle wanted to live a normal life, in her small town. Maurice who is Belles father went missing one evening as he was on his way to a fair.  A really bad storm broke out and he found a dark castle and decided to stay the night there.  Once the Beast found him he wouldn’t let him leave. When Belle’s father didn’t return she went to search for him. Belle ended up at the dark castle where her father was being kept. Belle not knowing anything about the castle most of the objects around her were once human. There was a spell that was casted upon the castle and everyone in the castle. Including the Beast if the Beast didn’t Fall in  love and the girl fall in love with him too before he turned twenty- years old the spell will stay forever.  Belle ended up finding the dungeon where her father was being kept. Her father wanted her to leave and she wouldn’t. Before it was to late the Beast had found her. She offered herself, in return for her father’s freedom. The beast took her up on her offer. Lumiere ,who was now as Casanova of all candelabras. He was once a gracious host to the castle. Told the beast to let her stay somewhere that wasn’t so dark and cold. The beast let her stay in a room as he invited her to dinner she rejected him. This made him very mad; if she didn’t go to dinner then she didn’t eat at all. Belle after so long made her way down to the kitchen as she saw all of the plates and pans silverware, stoves were all alive. By this time Belle had figured out that the place was enchanted. She was given a tour but was told not to go in the west wing. Belle went into the west wing where the beast found her and yelled at her so loud she ran down the stairs. Belle then ran away on her horse. Belle didn’t make it very far. She was attached by a pack of wolves until the beast came and saved her. The beast got hurt by saving her. Belle couldn’t leave him now. So Belle went back with him and fixed his wounds. Belle thanked him for saving her life. As time went on Bella and beast did everything together. They ate together played in the snow, read books together they even danced together. All of the servants could tell they were both falling in love with each other. Even though Belle was falling in love with the Beast she was worried about her ill father so the beast let her go.  Once Belle was home the villager’s attacked the castle even though she told them he was very nice. In the process of trying to protect his castle Beast got hurt again very badly. Belle returned to the castle to find the beast almost dead and she cried and told him said “I love you”. After those words were said the beast and everyone else in the castle became human once again. Belle and the Beast lived happily ever after.


This version of the Disney story has to be one of the best ones. In this story ,as well as the one that was published in 1757 shows that women can stand for something. How beauty stood in place for her father so did Belle as she request to take her fathers place. This version was made for a happy ending that was believable. Unlike the 1757 version where at the end she loved him because she felt bad for him.   The 1757 version if read to children now would make them scared. With “The Beast revealed is a frightening horror of the imagination, a fragment of nightmares, his eyes, nostrils, and fangs magnified to fill the page yet dragged downward in lines that imply pain as well as the capacity to inflict it” (Hearne pg 83). Hearne didn’t think that the story was meant for young children at all. Older women in beauty parlors told it. Not at home before they put their children to bed. It was written to prepare them for the things in life that can happen to them. It tried to teach them how to deal with it. How Beauty and her family lost their fortune, but Beauty still managed to be happy and make sure the whole family was taken care of. No, Beauty didn’t have a job but Beauty made sure the food was cooked, house was clean and everyone was cared for. As her father worked to provide for his family.


 Belle had enchanted objects to help her along they way in the story. This is how it is in life now. We have our parents and teachers to help us along the way in life. To tell us what is right and what is wrong.  To help us out of trouble. Growing up now many children aren’t taught that things may not go as planned. That one-day they could get in to trouble and only they can get their selves out of it. They are raised that someone will always be there to bail them out. Leaving them with no sense of being independent and knowing how to do anything on their own. They aren’t raised afraid of anything.


Belle just as Beauty was still very kind and loving. The character of Beauty didn’t really change much over time. It still proved that women could be headstrong do for themselves.  That woman can be kind and loving, and care for others as well. That not all women have to have a pre -arranged marriage, or their fathers wanted to send them off.  As this story has evolved little girls more and more want to be like Belle from beauty and the best. They want to be like her because they see how beautiful she is. They see how Belle doesn’t give up. That she keeps trying. They see how she is kind to everyone no matter what,  that person may look like or how they act, Belle was still very sweet to them.  This is how we want our little girls to be raised to sweet and kind and not so judgmental. To care for others as they loved them. Yes being too nice can be bad but that isn’t in all cases.  Knowing how to love and care is something that all women should be able to do no matter what. 

After comparing both of the stories I feel that The Beauty and The Beast hasn’t Evolved very much over time. It has simple taken the 1757 version and changed it to have happy endings as well as it has over time evolved with our time now. To make children feel like no harm can come to them in there live. As the original version prepares the children for everyday live.  This fairy tale is now being told in away that doesn’t teach the children it just leaves them with a happy ending.


“The tale itself has been understood as a means of harnessing female sexuality, of describing female destiny, of coming to terms with sexual aspects of love, or of providing a ‘philosophical allegory of the progression of the rational soul towards intellectual love.  Oralists maintain, though without material evidence, that ‘Beauty and the Beast’ tales enjoyed an independent oral existence from ancient Rome to the present; socialhistorical analyses see the money component of marriage arrangements reflected in Beauty's story; anthropologically oriented researchers understand ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as an allegory of the tension between endogamy and exogamy, as well as a verbal expression of the relationship between myth, rite, and fairy tale”(Hearne pg86). This is just what the original tale was understood to be.


Both of these fairy tales tell a story. One may be more frightening because it prepares us all for what life could bring to us. One may teach us that sometimes it is good to be able to do for yourself and that bad things may happen. For us not to depend on just one person to make sure our life goes as planned.  One fairy tale wasn’t published to be read to or by children. It was published more for adults or children who seemed to be more mature and could understand the meaning behind the story.  While one story is more for your imagination, to help little girls to grow up and be strong and kind and loving. Little girls want to be pretty and wear the pretty dresses and marry the handsome man. After reading the 1757 version of “The beauty and the beast” I would have rather had my mother read me both versions. Why do I say this. I say this because I would have wanted to know the things in life that could help me. As well as the things that would make my imagination go wild. As children we don’t want to hear about things that are bad in the world we just want happy endings.

In conclusion “The Beauty and the Beast all versions have some message they are trying to send to children. Rather it is that not all things in life are as wonderful as they may seem to be. Or that Life no matter what will always have a happy ending. “ Beauty and the beast” Has changed to fit with how we in our time the twenty- first century now want our children to be raised. We don’t want them to know fear. When in 1757 they wanted them to be able to fear and be able to live through anything that is thrown at them. As fairy tales now all depend on how much of a happy ending we can give our children.




























Comments (3)

Abigail Heiniger said

at 11:48 pm on Mar 2, 2014

This topic and these sources look great!

Abigail Heiniger said

at 2:22 am on Mar 7, 2014

So you're interested in the way "Beauty and the Beast" has (or has NOT) evolved to fit evolving gender roles for women. That's a good thing to explore. When you revise this, make your thesis a statement (not a question).

Abigail Heiniger said

at 11:47 pm on Apr 5, 2014

I don't see your rough draft.

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