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Beauty And The Beast and Beastly Comparison
Transcript of Beauty And The Beast and Beastly Comparison
The original fairytale tells the story of a man who was cursed by a witch and turned into a beast. Only the love of a girl would be able to transform him back into a human.
A girl comes to live with him in exchange for the life of her father and gradually comes to love the beast. As with all fairytales, the story ends happily with the beast turning back into a human.
Beauty and the Beast
- An attractive, spoiled selfish, young man is turned into an ugly beast by a witch because of his rudeness or undesirable qualities.
- The curse can only be broken if the beast finds a woman who can love him despite his appearance.
- A cowardly father gives his daughter over to the beast in exchange for his own life when he trespasses on the beast's property.
- Although at first terrified of the beast and hates him, the girl gradually comes to love him, despite his hideous appearance.
- The girl’s father becomes terribly ill and although it kills him inside, the beast lets her go to her father to help him.
- At some point, the beast is about to die but the girl admits she loves him, healing the beast and breaking the curse.
- Magic mirror is present in both texts: the mirror allows the beast to see anyone, in anyplace at anytime.
- Same motherly figure represented in the two texts - in the fairytale, it is Mrs Potts and in Beastly, it is the maid, Magda.
- Roses are present in both texts and they represent the same things: beauty, courage, passion and love.
Another appropriation of this classic tale by the Grimm Brothers is the novel by Alex Flinn, entitled Beastly. Beastly tells the story of rich, young, handsome teenager, Kyle, who believes that a person's worth is based solely on their appearance. Kyle is turned into a beast after he pulls a careless prank on a witch named Kendra, who is disguised as a high-school "goth" girl. Like the original tale, Kendra gives Kyle two years to find someone to love him as a beast, and with true love's kiss, he would be turned back into a human.
Kyle falls in love with a girl named Lindy - someone who had gone to his school but he had never noticed her because she was neither ugly nor strikingly beautiful. He takes Lindy to live with him and at first, she hates him and is terrified of him, but gradually begins to love him. When she kisses him at the end of the novel, he turns back into the handsome teenager he was, however, his perception of the world has changed.
By Catherine Gionta
Beauty And The Beast and Beastly Comparison
- Time and location: The fairytale was probably based in France, several hundred years ago, in or around the 1700s whereas Beastly is based in modern Manhattan, New York.
- In the fairytale, the qualities of chivalry and bravery are shown, whereas in Beastly, typical teenage problems are shown: relationships, parents, high school and the “ugliness” in the world.
- In the fairytale, Beauty and the Beast are adults whereas in Beastly, they are teenagers.
- The spell is broken by true love’s kiss in Beastly whereas mere love is the key to the breaking of the spell in the fairytale.
- Beastly is told from the Beast’s point of view, whereas the fairytale is told from an omniscient point of view - this allows the reader to gain insights into the Beast’s life whereas with the fairytale, the reader views the book as an outsider, allowing them to know things that the characters do not.
- In the fairytale, the beast is a prince, and in Beastly, the beast is a teenage guy with a rich father, who is good looking on the outside, but ugly on the inside.
- In the fairytale, the beast’s actions cause not only him but all the servants in his castle to be transformed. In Beastly, it is only the beast who was transformed.
Why is the original text valued in our society?
The original text, Beauty and the Beast, is a classic fairytale enjoyed by many people around the world. Although the target audience is predominantly young children, it is enjoyed by older children, teenagers and parents.
Apart from being a highly enjoyable tale of love and beauty, the story contains values that can still be applied to our modern society. Values such as "Never judge a book by its cover" can be applied to this story. Or teaching children that true beauty lies on the inside, not on the outside.
What is the effect of the appropriation of the original text?
By appropriating the original fairytale into a novel aimed at teenagers, the reader gains a better insight into the values held in the original text as they are the same in the novel, Beastly. "Beauty is only skin-deep" is an appropriate moral for both Beauty and the Beast and Beastly. By the end of the novel, the reader understands that inner beauty is more important than outward appearances.
Foreshadowing is used at the beginning of the novel to hint towards Kyle's transformation into a beast. This is evident when Kyle humiliates Kendra at the entrance to the school dance. He expects her to be upset and in tears, but instead, Alex Flinn writes "She wasn't crying. She didn't even look embarrassed either. She had this intense look in her eyes...But instead she said in a voice only I could hear, 'You'll see.' And she walked out". The effect of this is that the reader is left tense and wondering what is going to happen next.
The most obvious motif used in the novel is the idea of Beauty and the Beast, which is referenced throughout the entire novel, particularly in the middle sections of the novel as the characters of "Beastly" Kyle and Lindy are developed. Another motif that is sustained throughout the novel and is also present in the original tale is that of flowers, in particular, roses. Kyle chooses to build a greenhouse and grow roses as he wishes to "make something beautiful out of his hideousness". Furthermore the symbol of a rose is present when Kyle presents a white rose to Lindy after his girlfriend Sloan rejects it. One final motif present in the novel is the idea of parental abandonment which is seen in both Lindy and Kyle's life. In Lindy's case, her father is a drug and alcohol addict and never cared for her and in Kyle's case, his father was always too busy with work to care about his son's life. The motifs used in the novel put greater emphasis on the link between the two texts and link the events of the book together.
By comparing key scenes from the fairytale, appropriated into the context of the novel, one can gain a better insight into the story and the message hidden in the beautiful tale. One such scene is the opening scene of the novel, Beastly. Beastly begins with a scene in a classroom, where the students are voting for their “homecoming royalty” when Kendra begins challenging this typical, American, teenage notion by making an elaborate speech, to which Kyle reacts by countering her argument with one of his own, based on his belief that looks are important to everyone. This sets up the scene for the remainder of the novel which is comprised of Kyle playing a prank on Kendra and then being turned into a beast. However, this scene has been added to the novel and has no equivalent in the fairytale. The fairytale commences with the man trespassing on the beast’s property, and does not tell the story of how he became a beast in the first place. The only thing that the audience knows is that he angered a sorceress. So why would Alec Flinn introduce this idea about how Kyle became a beast? The most apparent reason would be that teenagers have a natural curiosity that they wish to satisfy, whereas children are content with the explanation that they are given, and so Alex Flinn, in order to satisfy the curiosity of teenagers, told the story of Kyle’s life before becoming a beast.
A second scene is when Kyle is begging Lindy to come out of her room, if only to share a meal with her however, Lindy is adamant that she hates Kyle and wants nothing to do with him. She believes that he has kidnapped her and, as a result she hates him and fears him. This is similar to Beauty and the Beast as at first, Beauty is afraid of the Beast and wishes to stay away from him. However, as is the same in both texts, eventually, Beauty comes to love the Beast. This scene was kept similar in order to reinforce the idea of Beauty and the Beast and true love. Alex Flinn based her novel of Beauty and the Beast, and as such, she had to ensure that the main idea of the fairytale was captured in her novel.
A final scene is at the end of the novel when Lindy tells Kyle, who is hurt, that she loves him. He asks her to kiss him, and despite him being a beast, Lindy still kisses him, thus transforming him back into a human. This is somewhat equivalent to the original fairytale, except for one detail. In the fairytale, Beauty only had to tell Beast that she loved him, and this alone was enough to break the spell; however in Beastly, Lindy had to kiss Kyle in order for him to be transformed. In my opinion, Alex Flinn added this detail simply because it is a novel aimed at teenagers, and speaking for myself, and I’m sure many others, teenagers love the idea of love and romance.