Findlay, Kerstetter Changes in a Tale as Old as Time

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Robin McKinley concludes Beauty with the Beast's transformation back into his original form:

The Beast was nowhere to be seen. A man stood beside me, dressed in golden velvet, as the Beast had been, with white lace at his throat and wrists. He had brown eyes, and curly brown hair streaked with grey. He was taller than I was, though not as tall as the Beast; and as I looked at him in surprise, he smiled at me, a little uncertainly it seemed. He was quite alarmingly handsome, and I blinked and felt foolish. "My Beast," I said, and my voice sounded shrill. I felt like a scrubby schoolgirl beside this grand gentleman. "Where is he? I must go find him—" And I backed away from the window, still looking at my unexpected visitor.

"Wait, Beauty," the man said.

I stopped. "Your voice," I said. "I know your voice."

"I am the Beast," he said. (239-240)

Changes in culture are reflected in popular media; the perception on life varies from century to century. The roles of women have changed drastically since the first publication of Beauty and the Beast. At that time women were seen as fragile beings that were expected to live at a certain standard of perfection. After WWII the image of women changed into a more independent figure. The more modern retellings of Beauty and the Beast show this independence in women, through Belle's character. The character of Belle is a role model for girls today showing them that if they are strong they can find success even though they are flawed.

Works Cited

Beastly. Dir. Daniel Barnz. Perf. Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, and Mary-Kate Olsen. CBS Films, 2011. DVD.

By Frantz, Don and Alan Menken with Sue Heinemann, Lyricists Howard Ashman, writers Tim Rice, Linda Woolverton. Disney's Beauty and the Beast: A Celebration of the Broadway Musical. New York: Hyperion, 1995. Print.

Gibran, Kahlil. "Beauty Is not in the Face; Beauty Is a Light in The heart." Goodreads. Web. 10 Feb. 2012.

Guerin, Wilfred L. et al. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.

McKinley, Robin. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & the Beast. New York: Harper Trophy, 1993. Print.

Tatar, Maria. The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales. New York: Norton, 2002. Print.

Zipes, Jack. The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2001 Print.

Zipes, Jack. When Dreams Came True: Classical Fairy Tales and Their Tradition. New York: Routledge, 1999. Print.

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