Beauty and the Beast: The Untold Meaning

The tale “Beauty and the Beast” by Madame Leprince de Beaumont provides the ability for various audiences to read the tale and have different interpretations of what it could mean. When children read the tale they may just see it as a girl’s unconditional love for her father and her having to live with a beast which magically becomes a prince. A more profound way of looking at the tale would be to look at it with a Freudian perspective. Sigmund Freud believes that all girls go through the electra stage of development which is when young girls want to have sex with their opposite sex parent. The tale also touches on narcissism which means that the character only cares about themselves and how they can improve themselves. The tale “Beauty and the Beast” by Madame Leprince de Beaumont shows the progression of a young girls journey to women hood by the loosening of her electra ties with her father and her change in narcissistic point of view over the coarse of the tale.
Firstly, Beauty keeps her distance from males other than her father due to her electra connection with him. Although her sisters want to get married “[she] [says] that she [is] too young at present, and that she [wishes] to keep her father company for several years” (Beaumont 171). Her sisters try their best to find a husband unlike her sister which is fine with have her father as her only male relationship. According to Marina Warner, it is normal for young girls to marry at a young age despite their wants and needs. “As young as thirteen to fourteen years of age, [are] forced to come to terms with the arranged marriages that their families organized, despite the obvious age, intelligence, and aesthetic appeal differences of their future spouses” (Warner 285...

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...ll the void of not having her father. She then eventually realizes that she no longer needs her father to be her dominant male figure. She is then able to identify with the Beast and be able to accept him as a prince. Many children which have been exposed to this story are going through either the electra or oedipal phase which will allow them to identify with the story at a subconscious level.

Works Cited
Bettelheim, Bruno. "The Animal Groom-Cycle of Fairy Tales." The Uses of Enchantment: The
Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. New York: Knopf, 1976. 277-310. Print.

Leprince de Beaumont, Madame. “The Beauty and the Beast.” Folks and Fairy Tales. Ed. Martin Hallett. Barbara Karasek. Toronto, Ontario: 2009, 171-181. Print

Warner, Marina. "Go! Be a Beast." From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers. New York: Noonday, 1996. 298-318. Print.
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