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"Gender role refers to the set of social and behavioral norms that are widely considered to be socially appropriate for individuals of a specific sex in the context of a specific culture, which differ widely between cultures and over time." (Gender Role). For several decades, women have been struggling to accomplishing something. Regardless of the many accomplishments that women have done in the recent years, yet many people still think the same way that others have thought about women and what they should or should not done long ago. Tough intolerance toward women is currently present and noticeable through-out the world. Long ago fairytales were not essentially written for children thus they were mainly written to address certain issues or conflicts within the culture and this was also a way for many to express how they felt about their culture. Beauty and the Beast is an example of a fairytale that was mainly written to express firm thoughts about the culture, we as the audience may not notice the prejudice; however, numerous prejudiced ideas were illustrated throughout this fairytale. Many fairytales have showed many women were compelled to devote themselves to others interest and yet, achievements were hardly discussed.
Beauty and the beast is a fairytale that showed women are the main victims for others. The story in the movie initiates with the Beauty and her family living a decent life style. Beauty is the youngest and is the one that taking care of the family after the deaths of her mother. Later the story states that Maurice, the father; goes on a business trip and get trapped into the palace of the beast. When the father gets trapped the beast negotiates a settlement that in order to spare his life he must bring his daughter Beauty to the palace of the beast. When Maurice tell his children what had happened to him and what are the terms in order spare his life; Beauty (Belle) his youngest, without any second thoughts she give up her life in order to save her father's. After a while living with the Beast, Beauty began to fall in love with the beast despite the way he appeared to be. the woman who learns to see the charm and love beneath the exterior of a boorish beast who imprisons her in his castle (Beauty and the Beast) it resulted in breaking the spell that was casted on him and it is only broken by true love.
This fairytale demonstrates an ideal woman, who has a true beauty inside and out. Bella is well adjusted to housework and can support her family after the death of her mother. In the book, Beauty has always thought of her ideal charming husband, this emphasizes how much women have always thought about marriage, in which it shows that women are trapped in a place where the only way to be free from your parents is by getting married. Some other prejudiced attitude that was shown in this fairytale is the scarification of ones-self for others. Also, there is a powerful emphasis on marriage proposals in this fairytale; this occurs when Beauty's answer to the Beast was "No, Beast. I am sorry, but though you are kind to me and have treated me fairly, I can never be your wife because I do not love you" (Beauty and the Beast). This indicates that even though Beauty had an inside beauty, she was also concerned about the physical appearance while overlooking the importance of how she was treated by the Beast.
There are several differences between the movie that was published in 1991 and the children book that was written by Marianna Mayer. In the book the story opposes women as being careless such as Beauty's sisters; they were mainly concerned about their looks and were depending on others such as Beauty. When the father was about to go on his trip to get his business back on track the daughters asked him "bring us dresses of silk and fine shoes and a carriage to ride in, so that when we return to the city everyone will marvel at us"(Mayer) This shows that they were not concerned about their fathers returning safely or what's going to happen to them due to their possible financial problems, they were careless. Being money-oriented is an idea that was presented in this story about women. When beauty was inside the beast's castle he offers her jewelry in order to buy her love; this can possibly show that a women's love can be bought and highlights as women being money-oriented.
Another prejudice is present toward women in which they are at home taking care of the children and cooking while their husbands work. Men's superiority on women plays a major role in fairytale. The beast is an example of that; the beast thought that by being bigger and frightening he could possibly have an influence on Beauty's marriage decision. Being terrified Beauty did not hesitate to tell the beast no and by slowly controlling his anger she was able to work around him. By this it shows that women are capable of being in control.
Many differences were shown in both the movie and the book by Mayer. Many women were considered to be less important then men, many were well thought-out to be housewives, careless, and depending on others. Those kinds of ideas we present in the wrong type of fairytales. Fairytales are meant to entertain younger generation and lead them to have better thoughts however fairytales were possible an only way for many to express firm ideas and not have problems with the authority.
Beauty and the Beast. Dir. Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. Perf. Paige O'Hara. Walt
"Gender Role." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Mar. 2008. Web. 28 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_role>.
Mayer, Marianna, and Mercer Mayer. Beauty and the Beast. New York: Four Winds