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An In Depth Look At Fairy Tales.
Esteemed German poet Johann Schiller insists, “Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told me in my childhood than in any truth that is taught in life" (“Fairy” 1). Fairy tales are unique because they focus all which is moral and corrupt into a short, compact story. The story directly arrives to the plot leaving nothing to ponder. From there, fairy tales branch out and explore each superior characteristic a person should obtain and their opposites. The tales are usually meant for young children, but they are exceedingly beneficial to all ages; however, children benefit more from the abstract reason of thought these provide. Recent studies prove, “[. . .] children deprived of fantasy may develop nightmares and suffer emotional delays” (Melvin 1). Since the tales are universal, they can be adapted to teach or explain any given lesson in life. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991) portrays a complete transformation by Beast, which can be related to life in countless ways.
At first, Beast is disliked and feared by the characters around him because of his appearance. When desperate Maurice wanders into Beast’s castle, he is treated Beast storms down to the room where Maurice waits unexpectedly the moment he learns a stranger has entered his castle. Without welcome to the stranger, Beast begins interrogating Maurice in a derogative manner, “Who are you? What are you doing here?” With Maurice in a stupor, Beast’s fangs flash, and his large shadow floods the wall. Beast appears jagged and uneven, his mane and fur unkempt. Maurice is terrified because inches away stands a beast twice the size of a man, with talons for nails and fangs for teeth. Beast’s warm, stale breath saturates Maurice, and they stand unchanged for an instant. Before Belle takes her father’s place as prisoner to Beast, she asks to see Beast in the light. He steps forward lighting his dog-like features and Belle is aghast. She covers her mouth with her hand because she cannot believe she is taking her father’s place for this monster. Later when Belle has grown more use to Beast, he messily eats his food without proper etiquette and food sloshes all over his face.
Beast perpetrates many wrongful actions; thus, he is not popular among newcomers. This fact is proven well when Maurice is harshly taken up into the keep of the castle.
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Once self-sacrificing Belle releases her father Maurice by taking his place as prisoner, Beast appears different. The utter transformation therein occurs. Before his first meeting with Belle after he saves her from the wolves, he always looked disheveled. Beast appears to be a changed person since he has learned to love, and he has drawn closer to Belle. His mane looks much more refined at all times, and his fur is no longer jagged, but more orderly. When he and Belle go out in to the snow together, he looks very sophisticated with his blue overcoat and black dress pants. Beast is taking further actions to make himself seem a great deal tidier.
The most noticeable change in Beast’s actions towards Belle occurs when she doctors him after the incident with the wolves. Belle manages to get the last word in which dumbfounds him, and causes him to think on the events transpired. Before the fateful encounter, Beast would never smile, but now he possesses a most genuine smile when apportioned to Belle. For instance, when they are throwing snowballs at each other outside, he grins profoundly and cannot help but notice his own enthusiasm. He now wants to do something nice for her, but he is still very unrefined; thus he seeks advice from his faithful servants. Codsworth tells Beast to give Belle the usual flowers and chocolates; however, Lumiere proposes, “Ahh, no no. It has to be something very special. Something that sparks her interest--wait a minute.”
Given Belle loves books so much, Lumiere tells Beast to offer her the library in order to help win her heart over. Beast begins by telling Belle to close her eyes. He then leads her into the gigantic room filled with books by Belle’s hand. His grasp is gentle enough to grasp a bird. When Beast opens the curtains to let in the sunlight Belle reflexively flinches when it hits her closed eyelids. When he tells her to open them, her delicate blue eyes shimmer with excitement and joy. The final action establishing Beast’s conversion transpires when he releases Belle to go to her sick father. She takes one look at the magic mirror Beast showed her, and then she exclaims, “Papa. Oh, no. He's sick, he may be dying. And he's all alone.” He looks at the enchanted rose, then at Belle, then back to the rose; ergo, he frees her. Beast’s face sinks as he tells Belle she must go to her father. Children especially can learn from the perseverance of Belle and relate it to the people they first meet and find themselves not partial towards. They realize not to judge on first impressions because they know people can change.
Upright fairy tale characters offer models for people to live their lives by. The characters within these stories believe and uphold strong values, which will in no doubt influence the actions of all who watch them throughout their life. Different characters can be related to in many ways. Respected author C.S. Lewis speculates that fairy tales offer people adventures they would by no means have; therefore, the tales enhance life (48). Beast embarks all viewers on a journey through an enchanted change in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; an expedition few would be able to undergo. Fairy tales are general teaching tools; thus, much can be attained for everyone. It is especially essential for children to initiate their lives with fairy tales. The distinguished, Nobel Prize winning, scientist Albert Einstein assessed, "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales" (“Fairy” 2).