Literary Analysis : Beauty And The Beast By Jeanne Marie Leprince De Beaumont

Literary Analysis : Beauty And The Beast By Jeanne Marie Leprince De Beaumont

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Social factors have always encouraged the idea that men embody masculinity and women embody femininity and, thus, certain gender-norms are expected accordingly. In the past, such expectations were traditional and to go against them was frowned upon by the general public. Contemporarily speaking, there is more freedom to avail oneself of today than there was once upon a time. Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont’s fairytale adaptation of ‘Beauty and The Beast’ was published in 1740. During this time, men and women were compelled by the social conventions associated with their gender. When analyzing the literary work, the reader can grasp what gender roles are eminent in the characters identity and motives. By exploring the choice of language being used in the story’s descriptions and narrative voice, this paper will show that the secondary-male characters present in the tale are alternate representations of appropriate and inappropriate masculinity, to create a disparity when compared to The Beast. This is significant because it explains De Beaumont’s appeal to the right forms of masculinity, which exhibits the distinction between man and animal.

Firstly, we will examine the language choice used in the descriptions of the Beast, in order to examine his division from the other male characters in the story. The choice of language used in de Beaumont’s ‘Beauty and The Beast’ to describe the Beast’s character strongly suggests that he is meant to be perceived as a creature or an animal – not human. We can see that it is a deliberate intention by the author when considering how other characters name him as ‘the monster’. The title of ‘the monster’ is used seventeen times throughout the story as a referral to the character. The Beast also...

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...(9). The juxtaposition made between the husbands and The Beast create the disclosure of the appropriate masculine qualities a man should encompass. De Beaumont presents the contrast of characters to the reader as a method of emphasizing the moral to be taken from the tale. In spite of the fact that the husbands never make an appearance or speak for themselves in the tale, they are extremely significant in De Beaumont’s overall theme.

To conclude, there are many lessons De Beaumont bestows upon her audience. The main theme of the tale advises to not judge a person based off of appearances but another theme is being implicated through the character’s example of masculinity being played out. Men should strive to be providers, to care and protect their loved ones and that virtue is, above all, the most important feature a man can have, which separates him from beast.

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