Freaky Fairytales: Beauty and the Beast

Our next segment of Freaky Fairytales is ‘Beauty and the Beast’. This freaky fairytale shows Beauty’s Stockholm syndrome as a misinterpretation of love.

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Another segment of Freaky Fairytales brings you the story of Beauty and the Beast. The Disney movie Beauty and the Beast is a renowned film that is adored by children and families. Even the live action has gotten amazing views since its release in 2017. Yet there is a more sinister plot that stems from the original.

The original tale of Beauty and the Beast was written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villenueuve. Her original story was rewritten into a shorter piece that was published in 1756. This shorter fairytale of Beauty and the Beast was written by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont (1711-1780).

Jean-Marie Beaumont’s version of the tale is the likely the most popular, and is widely considered the original. Her story may be short, but the content is a bit 18+, so fair warning.

Let’s dive into the original tale and compare it to the Disney fantasy we all know.

IMAGE VIA KOBO

In the original, Beauty lived with her father and two sisters. However, the father lost his fortune. They were forced to move in small quarters. The older sisters complained and whined. Beauty maintained her composure and sadness. She helped her father any way she could. Soon her Father found an opportunity to get some of his fortune back but he had to leave. While her sisters asked for expensive things such as fine silks and jewelry, all Beauty requested was a red rose. Her father happened upon a lovely rose garden on his travels to a mysterious place, but when he discovered the garden belonged to the Beast, he was captured.

IMAGE VIA ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY / DISNEY STUDIOS

In the animated Beauty and the Beast film, obtaining a rose wasn’t the cause that lead Beauty’s father to be imprisoned. Yet they make that the reason in the live-action film. The daughter’s relationship with the father is more special in both animated and live-action film. The original, however, focuses on Beauty’s position as a maid, with two greedy sisters.

In Jean-Marie Beaumont’s story, once Beauty’s sacrifice was made, she pitied the monster. Although he did scare her on few occasions, all she can see is sadness and sympathize. Even in the live-action and animation she was stubborn and did not relent until much later.

IMAGE VIA DISNEY ANIMATION

There were no magical objects to help guide Beauty or fix the Beast’s curse. The Beast however has made sexual advances towards her and would violently scare her. Despite these advances, later during her stay she grows fond of the Beast.

Later in time the Beast granted her permission to visit her father who is ill. After tending to him for a while she had a dream about the Beast dying. The Beast gave her a magic ring that will transport her back to the palace when worn.

IMAGE VIA THE WRAP / DISNEY STUDIOS

One object in the live-action film that was used to transport was the magical book, here we see a glimpse of Beauty’s childhood past in France. In the Disney film the issue with the father was that he was mentally insane. Beauty discovers the towns folk accusation while using a magic mirror, which urges the Beast to let her go to her father.

In the original tale, this one simple act of kindness, and the time bonding with the Beast, has Beauty deciding to marry him. And this, of course, breaks the curse.

However, this behavior is a case of Stockholm syndrome. Beauty was doomed to never see her family again. She had to stay with a creature who attempted violence and fear during her stay. In addition, he has attempted sexual advances towards Beauty. This traumatic experience, being horrifying left her in such a state that it seemed normal. This has caused her to slowly grow feelings for her captor.

Get ready for the next installment of Freaky Fairytales, later this month! And be sure to check out more of our Freaky Fairytales articles here!

FEATURED IMAGE VIA KAYLA TORRES / BOOKSTR