A Theme of Beauty in “Beauty and the Beast”
Beauty is a concept that is relative and comparative in our society today. Women especially often flock to books, magazines, movies, and media because they have this desire to try and fill that vacant space of being beautiful. After time and time again of being unsatisfied of their need and desire to be beautiful, they should see that their outward appearance of beauty will not change what is important to them, or their identity. Along with that, outward beauty does not show what is essential in a person. It does not show their morals, values, characteristics or their feelings. Outward appearance does not show their love for their family, or their grace and forgiveness. “Beauty and the Beast” is an excellent example of these characteristics and traits. Her appearance on the outside does not consume the Beauty character, but she shows characteristics that no outward beauty can make up for. She shows her love in her sacrifice, morals, forgiveness, and trust. She shows her love through sacrifice and grace. Beast, however, has no outward beauty and often is labeled as angry and hostile. Furthermore, he shows grace when no one expects him to. The fairytale story of “Beauty and the Beast” that entails forgiveness while showing grace for all people in every situation and sacrifice is the most significant gesture of affirmation that you can give to anyone.
In “Beauty and the Beast,” the two main characters are Beauty and Beast. These characters have an interesting dynamic between them. Beauty exemplifies grace, honesty, and trust while this beast is holding her hostage just so that she could save her father. She sacrificed herself for her family because she loves them. As a child, her sisters tormented her because she was beautiful and humble. They were not ugly, but she was just prettier. Her sisters were caught up with the materiality of the world. They only wanted new clothes and fine jewelry. After their father had lost his business, they became inferior in society. Having to sell all the beautiful things they had. Her sisters wailed and complained against the situation, but it did no good. Their father went on a trip in an attempt to save his ships and his business. He asked his daughters what they wanted. Beauty’s sisters wanted jewelry and clothes, but Beauty only wanted a rose. After a great deal of trouble, he went to return home with nothing. Upon arriving near to his house, he became lost in the forest through the heavy rain and snow. He saw a palace off in the distance, and he went in. He ate until he was satisfied, then slept until morning. Beast noticed him and sent him on his way. While on his way out, he took a rose for Beauty to satisfy her request. The monster allowed him to return to his daughters and his family by agreeing to one condition, Beauty had to come in place of him, or he needed to return in 3 months. Beauty sacrificed herself and journeyed to the palace in her father’s place.
In this heart touching story, the dynamics between characters unfold until the very end. The attribute of beauty is not always what it is all caught up to be. Beauty’s father returned home, after the monstrous beast allowed him to do, only to have his daughter take his place. Sacrifice is viewed as one of the grandest gesture that anyone can give. Beauty was willing to sacrifice everything she had to save her father’s life. By this action, she showed love towards her family. Some people show love by gifts, words. Alternatively, quality time, but Beauty showed it through her sacrifice. By doing this, she showed excellent characteristics of her personality. Beauty never knew the situation of Beast. She showed true entrustment in the beast to provide for her and not maim her.
Although people look at the beast as this overbearing monster, he showed characteristics of good. People tend to assume from the beginning that the antagonist cannot have good qualities about him, but the story shows how he is able to give grace to his prisoners. Usually, a reader will jump to conclusions before finishing the writing about a character and how they act and think. Because Beast is the antagonist in this story, many people expect him to have a few good traits about him, but that would be incorrect. Society today often believes that if a character is evil, they have no good in them. However, Beast is an excellent example of showing the ability to have outstanding characteristics. Grace is a hard attribute to understand and show indeed. Beast not only showed it by letting her father return home for some time, but by being hospitable, and caring for Beauty. Beast is portrayed as an atrocious, barbaric, uncivilized monster, but with a more in-depth look, he shows virtues of beauty.
In today’s society, outward appearance has more influence on a person’s status than their values or ideals. In a perfect world, no one would care what the striking appearance communicated about a person. Everyone would take a step back, and listen before judging someone based on their hair, clothes or shoes. In every version or adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, whether a play, musical, or movie, the Beauty character always has the opportunity to judge the beast based upon his looks. In the movie Beauty and the Beast by Disney Beast even says “She will never see me as anything…but a monster.” He recognizes his outward appearance as a monster and even lets that define him at one point, but as the audience finds out later on in the movie.
Many variations of this original story have already been written. Some of these include The Frog Prince and The Pig King. In“The Frog Prince” is one of these variations. This writing is about a frog who saved the princess’ favorite toy, a golden ball because he wanted to spend time with her. He longed to eat dinner at the table and run and play with her. The princess promised to allow him to do all these things with her, completely ignoring that he was a frog. After reobtaining the golden ball, she ran off to return home, but the frog could not keep up. Later that evening her father heard a knock at the door. Surprised, the frog began to explain his situation. The father let him in and explained to the princess how she would have to keep the promise she made. Later on into the night the princess and the frog went into her bedroom. When the princess finally had enough, she picked him up and threw him against the wall. At that moment, he then turned into a handsome prince. This outcome comes to show that even the best people can end up in the worst circumstances.
Every story can be changed, made up, or exaggerated. Companies such as Broadway and Disney have made “Beauty and the Beast” something it is not. They have taken the story way out of proportion even have changed the meaning. Beauty and the Beast have changed the meaning of the original story. The movie and the writing have similarities and differences — for example, the song “Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme. Beauty and the Beast” is well known from the movie by Disney. The movie has adapted the story for a younger audience to be able to understand. The New York Times states “The audience needs to be, by turns, reassured and surprised, guided through startling and suspenseful events toward a never-in-doubt conclusion.” This means that even Beauty and the Beast plot has been changed so that the audience stays engaged.
The story of Beauty and the Beast has enchanted a variety of audiences for a number of years. This story tells about grace and forgiveness. It shows the importance of being devoted to a family through sacrifice to show love. Even Broadway, and Disney have taken this story to show essential values such as grace, sacrifice, and love.
The Views On Beauty In William Shakespeare’s Poetry
We can read in William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost that “Beauty is bought by the judgement of the eye”. It is not a thing that people could grasp or comprehend fully, as well as, it is a subjective experience. Something will be beautiful as long as we can find beauty in them, no matter what the others will think. It is said in an article on beauty by E. F. Carritt “Pure delight in a sunset or a symphony and our value for such experiences are unimpaired by the discovery that other people find no beauty in them or by the admission that there may be no objective beauty in them at all.” Furthermore, it is written in Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, which strengthens the statement that it cannot be grasped, “We have lost the abstract sense of beauty.” It does not exist physically because, as individuals, we will see beauty and think of it in different ways. Just like Shakespeare in Sonnet 54 or Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey in The Frailty and Hurtfulness of Beauty express different views about it.
Shakespeare says that beauty can be more than it is just by itself, an outward appearance, because truth and inner qualities are what give it the essence. He states right at the beginning in the first two lines of the sonnet ‘O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem,/By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!”, that is, an already beautiful thing can be even more beautiful if honesty and truth come with it. On the other hand, Surrey, as it is foreshadowed in the title, says that beauty is frail and hurtful. Reading further in the sonnet we can see how he considers the transitory nature of beauty, as it is illusive and deceiving. So, while Shakespeare finds beauty in the interior, Surrey sees only the negative side of it and so judges it because of its transitoriness.
Shakespeare’s sonnet can be divided into three quatrains and a final couplet. He talks about two flowers, the fragrant rose in the first quatrain and the canker-bloom in the second quatrain. In the first quatrain, after declaring that beauty can be made more beautiful, Shakespeare reinforces his statement with the example of sweet roses in line three and four. He says that roses are beautiful, but we deem them even more so because of their sweet scent. In contrast, the canker-blooms or wild roses “have full as deep a dye as the perfumed tincture of the roses” they lack the scent that makes roses beautiful. The appearance is the same, but they do not have what really matters. He continues the comparison between the two roses in the third quatrain. The canker-blooms only look beautiful, “…for their virtue only is their show,”, but do not contain inner beauty and so they “die to themselves” because nobody loves them. However, fragrant roses do not disappear after dying because people make rosewater and perfumes from them. In the final couplet we can see the sonnet’s message, that is, just like fragrant roses live after death, the beauty in Shakespeare’s words never fade. After youth passes away, outward beauty goes with it as well. As it was said in Dorian Gray “When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it…”. But Shakespeare distills what remained, the truth, the inner beauty, and makes them immortal in his poetry. In brief, just how John Keats said in his poem, Ode on a Grecian Urn, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
Surrey’s poem, once it is a sonnet as well, can also be divided into three quatrains and a couplet, but it is not splitted into parts. There is no separable quatrains or themes because he, all through the sonnet, talks about beauty as an evil and deceitful thing. Surrey starts the poem with an alliteration, which will appear in almost every line afterwards, so we can get the image of beauty’s weakness right from the first two words, “brittle beauty”, without reading any further. It was made so frail by nature, so nature, which is changeable, affects beauty then beauty is changeable as well. The end of the second line “…short the season;” also hints that beauty, similar to seasons, is short and will soon come to an end. It is a transitory state, “flow’ring today, tomorrow apt to fail”. Moreover, in the seventh line with a simile, Surrey uses a moving image to show how temporary beauty is, “Slipper in sliding, as is an eel’s tail”.
From the fifth line Surrey starts to enumerate the negative attributions of beauty. It is “dangerous to deal with”, “vain”, and “costly in keeping” just to mention a few of them. We can see the costly nature of beauty to appear in films and books, for instance Dorian Gray, who sells his own soul to keep his beauty, or the Evil Queen from Snow White, who is ready to kill in order to be the most beautiful in the land, or Mother Gothel from Tangled, who steals a baby to keep her youth and beauty. Surrey also says, using an oxymoron, that it is “bitter sweet”. It can seem wonderful but it does not last forever and will eventually disappear.
In the final couplet Surrey expresses his view on beauty’s temporariness with a last example comparing beauty to a fruit, “Thou farest as fruit that with the frost is taken,/Today ready ripe, tomorrow all to-shaken”. It is fair like a fruit but when it is frozen it loses its enticing appearance because the frost is all we can see and not the fruit. And in the last line there is another contrast between today and tomorrow. It talks about beauty’s temporary state as well, something can be beautiful today and damaged tomorrow.
Class and Race in Zadie Smith’s Novel on Beauty
In the first paragraph of this article on Zadie Smith’s novel On Beauty, it talks about where and when she was born to give context to her writing. Born in the 1970’s in England gives her an interesting non-American perspective on issues like race and class. This is a story about a culturally diverse political climate in the town of Wellington which hosts a college (non Ivy League) with the same name. Amazingly, this story appeals to people from all political backgrounds left and right in different ways.
The second paragraph goes deeper into the stories plot by telling us that it follows two connected families in a fictional college town outside Boston, Massachusetts. The student body tend to be extremely arrogant and entitled, similar to our Harvard or Yale students. Smith interestingly spent time at Harvard as a Radcliffe which brought her to America in the first place. This gave her insight and inspiration to write On Beauty after her debut hit, White Teeth.
In the next few paragraphs we learn that one of the main characters Howard, a white upper class liberal man from working class London, has an enemy called Monty Kipps who is coincidentally moving to the same town of Wellington that Howard lives in. Monty and Howard may be quite different in personality, Monty being a conservative Christian and Howard being a liberal atheist, but they both share the desire to hide where they come from and their true roots. Both of the men’s takes on society leave the reader interested after each page and keeps the argument fresh because of their backgrounds.
The issues at Wellington aren’t so one dimensional as one might assume though. Both arguments made by Howard and Monty are taken by people who have quite high stakes in the outcome of their arguments. Wellington is known to be a racial melting pot as well, but things are never as simple as they seem. There are many different perspectives amongst the Wellington residence but there seems to be a common undertone, white and rich.
Both men are quite strong and passionate in their differences. Each of them find it extremely difficult to connect or relate to anything outside their politics/academia. Monty is a go getter and is not afraid to fuel the fire, as we see when he announces his move to Wellington in a local newspaper with his declaration to remove the “liberal” from “liberal arts” which automatically gets under Howard’s skin.
In Monty and Howard we can see absolute ridiculous and reprehensible behavior. “Stuck in their own way” is a great and accurate phrase to use to describe the two scholars. We see their hypocrisy in their everyday lives compared to their politics, this holds true beyond the novel and is one of Smith’s central points in this story.
But not all is so stressful and unbearable as it may seem. Kiki, Howard’s African American wife from Florida, often brings balance and peace to the story of two academic rivals. She brings the issues home rather than keeping them in the school, giving them a more domestic and personal tone. She has a feminist outlook on the world and seeks to anchor her husband’s fiery personality.
Overall we can see that Smith drastically connects the issues of class and race. The entire story can seem to be dominated by Howard and Monty’s continuous feuding but underneath the politics and fights they have, lays Kiki and her children struggling to fit in this academic white upper class world. Kiki often feels out of place in the town and never seems to properly connect, like her Husband and Monty. Her children wish to connect more with their black heritage but feel unable to because they are not surrounded by people like them, so they try their best to blend into the white society they have grown up with. Ultimately Smith is criticizing the academic culture, tying it to a struggle between class and race which, in Smith’s eyes, are always connected to each other and to education itself.
Phyletic Prejudice: a Study of Extremity in Zadie Smith’s on Beauty
The complexion of White and Black plays an important role not only in second generation but also affects Belsey and Kiki too. In University, Belsey is also affected by this Identity crisis. He is a man of flawless in his career but he is condemned by other individuals who worked in that University about his marriage with a dark woman. Meanwhile Kiki is affected with a similar reason because she lives amidst the White society. This novel manages the numerous facets and expressions of Black Identity through different characters. It begins from Belsey in his University life and shifts to Kiki who has lived amidst the White society. They lead a real existence as upper class, predominantly White school town.
This conflict shifts to the second generation of their children, started from Jerome who settled in England now. As a result of his obscurity identity he suffers a great deal and attempts to escape from the passionate crisis. It moves to Zora in her college life, she wants to become a successful professor like her father Belsy but she cannot because of her identity depends in light of Belsey’s marriage with a dark woman.
On the other hand, the character of Monty rejects the thought of obscurity because it cannot exists, unaltered in the context of an elite University. He trusts that the approach of affirmative action regarding minorities in society belittles the dark community. While Levi comprehends his dark personality through the battle with systematic oppression and resistance to assimilation. Belsy’s identity is seen progressively through the lens of his class loyalties. While Kiki’s intricate understanding of her obscurity is express through her associations with others. At the point she talks with the vendor she feels over sexualized as a result of her voluptuous figure, so she keep away from him due to their class consciousness. When she appends her time with her friends is different from her guilt about obscurity, but she lavishly spends money and time with her friends not to worry about the outside world.
Smith intersected the issues of class and race throughout the novel in order to bring out the light relationship between Belsey and Kiki. Kiki’s race turns into an impediment against her capacity to fit in with the community and world encompassing her, one that is White, affluent and educated. The domination of the academic world is specifically tied to its whiteness, making a conflict between Kiki’s racial identity and class identity.
Levi struggles with blended race identity and obscurity in view of the fundamentally White world of academics where he lives. Belsey and Kiki’s families are a combination of stereotypically ‘White attributes and those that are Black’, including physical traits, making complexities within the family that reflect the complexities within academic and making complexities within the relationship with race and class. ‘Inappropriate’ demonstrates Kiki amidst the White society. The life in University makes hard to move everyday life for Zora and Belsey. ‘Inappropriate’ rises as an uncertainty of Zora in criticism however the individuals from the University change as an personal issue. Everyone scrutinizes Belsy’s inappropriate life amidst the White society. It influences Zora much she rejects to take classes in the University. The marriage of cross race and society influences the second generation. Levi, Belsey’s son not in any case heard the word ‘Black’, he is conceived in America and concentrates in the White’s school, so he doesn’t get an opportunity to meet any Black individuals and way of life of Black.
In reverse his mother Kiki is a Black woman, when he is an adult his attitude changes. He abhors the word ‘Black’ and also abhors his mother’s activity in outside home. Levi’s friendship with Choo changes his life style. He can’t pursue either White or Black. He adopts himself by some negative behavior patterns from Choo like smoking, stealing, and so on. It influences Belsey however he couldn’t care less about this attitude of Levi. Jerome always appreciates Kiki as a ‘Strong Black Woman’ because she doesn’t care about other’s criticism of her Black complexion. She exposes her affection towards Jerome since he is the first child who is the symbol of their love. Kiki feels regretful the dismissal marriage with Victoria at the same time she wouldn’t like to lose her legacy as a ‘Black’.
Levi is the most affected character of identity crisis in this novel. At the point when his companionship with Choo, Kiki against it but Belsey supports it since he is a White boy. Later he helps Belsey to win the Rembrandt project. Belsey always denotes Kiki as ‘heart breaker’ and ’emotional fraud’ because of her love towards Belsey. Belsey’s language is contrast from University and home particularly to Kiki. In University he is enthusiastic, expressive, kind and light- hearted but to Kiki he isn’t passionate, expressive, kind nothing. He had numerous illicit relationships like Claire, Victoria. Belsey attempts to end up his marriage life with Kiki. It is uncovered in the gathering when Kiki had a squabble with a White woman about her appearance. She shouts like anything in that moment. Belsey bursts out his own multifaceted nature towards Kiki as a Black woman and exposes to end up his marriage life. Kiki cries and contends with Belsey, later she reconciles herself because she reminds the word from Jerome and others as ‘strong woman’.
In social perspective Belsey and their children affects much to endure their own practices. ‘Ethnicity’ is frequently utilized in a sense close to traditionally ascribed to ‘race’. It incorporates race, color, sex, language, origin and so on. Levi’s way of life as ‘Black’ he wishes to left from the family. The complexion of Black and White predominance influences each character in this novel. While the restricting of marriage among Victoria and Jerome, Michael who is the son of Monty married Amelia a White girl. It makes unpleasant circumstance to Belsey’s family. Monty’s dismissal of Jerome as the identity of ‘Dark’. Consequently the kinship between these two families is broken and they are isolated.
One possible answer is explored through Belsey and Kiki’s relationship. They had been married for thirty years. They know and understand each other so well that a simple facial expression speaks volume of information. They have comparable senses of humor and are equally invested in the upbringing of their children. They allow each other the opportunity to do whatever they need to do with their lives-almost. Belsey pushes the boundaries and has a genuine shortcoming with regards to sex with other women.
The complex of the skin perhaps blamed so as to mistreat her, but there is no reason or rationale inclusion in the mistreatment. If it seems that her color is the reason that her ethnic identity is the reason for the misfortune of the second generation. This is on the grounds that she has been intentionally whipped by the others covetous system until she swallows the identity. This is the disguise of prejudice. Racism is the systematic, institutionalized mistreatment of one group and of individuals by another dependent on racial legacy. Like each other oppression, racism can be disguised.
Minorities come to believe falsehood about their specific ethnic group and in this manner trust that their mistreatment is justified. The term ‘people of color’ refers to an assortment of ethnic and social backgrounds. These different groups have been oppressed in a variety of ways.