Once upon a time?
The classic opener for any fairy tale, which is no different in the case of Beauty and the Beast. Fairy tales were meant to teach our children life lessons that society, at the time, deems important to learn. They teach us the difference between right and wrong, black and white, good and bad, light and dark, and beautiful and ugly. There are many different variations and names to Beauty and the Beast. This famous fable has been passed down and integrated into our culture time and time again, each time adding different lessons that were thought to be important in that day and age. What has changed over the years? How have the fairy tales of Beauty and the Beast affected the children of yesterday, today and tomorrow? I hope to show how fairy tales, more importantly Beauty and the Beast, is helpful to children in many ways, but mostly by teaching them the way that they should act in society. There are three very important lessons that Beauty and the Beast teaches us. First, and probably, the biggest one, is that beauty is only skin deep. It is what is on the inside that counts. Second, which ties in with the first lesson is, don't be too greedy because you will only be looking for the beauty on the out side. Finally, do unto others as you would have done to you, this will make you beautiful on the inside were it counts.
In this paper I am going to take a look at two versions of Beauty and the Beast. Although The Lady and the Lion and Beauty and the Beast are very different, the base story is there. True beauty is determined by what is on the inside and not on the outside. In addition vanity and riches will not make you happy. Finally, to be truly beautiful you must treat people how you would want to be treated.
Before I get into those versions of Beauty and the Beast, I want to talk about those who don?t think this fairy tale should be seen or heard by children. One version of this tale is by none other than Disney. Kathi Maio said, ?Disney?s version features a beast who looks ugly and acts even uglier? What a heart-warming fable! Why it?s a regular training film for the battered women of tomorrow!? (194). At first I thought, wow she has issues, but when I looked deeper I found what she meant. Not to say that I agree with her by any means. It is a fairy tale for a reason! These things...
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...because of the fear that fairies will come after me and turn me into a beast or a statue. (Which if you think about it would be very scary, seeing a something with wings and a wand flying at you.) I just feel that if you want to be treated well, you should treat others well. This was most likely imbedded into me through fairy tales just like Beauty and the Beast.
As you can see from only two very short versions of this fairy tale that the values in it are virtues that we should all have. This fairy tale has been passed down for many generations and with each year it grows and adapts to society, but the bases for this story stay true. You can?t judge a book by its cover. The truth is it is what is on the inside that counts, which leads to the next lesson; that being greedy will not make you happy. For everything you get that you think will make you happy, you will only find that you are unhappier than before. This flows nicely into the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have done to you, and this will bring you true happiness. I believe that this is a great fairy tale and the values it teaches are even better. My children will know the story of Beauty and the Beast well.
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