Montclair EAES 150 - Beauty and the Beast Essay Draft (6 pages)

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Beauty and the Beast Essay Draft



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Beauty and the Beast Essay Draft

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Pages:
6
School:
Montclair State University
Course:
Eaes 150 - General Oceanography
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David Lin Professor Ghoshal Writing 106 3 14 16 Beauty and the Beast with a feminist criticism Based on the classic French fairy tale Disney s Beauty and the Beast is a movie that has been widely watched over the past few decades by both children and adults alike Many individuals praise this timeless classic due to its remarkable animations and the joyous memories that are left on the audience Despite the admiration that the movie received it is crucial to discuss the how women are represented in the movie because of the influence it can bring to the viewers based on the movie s interpretation of the female characters The film serves as a template for how Disney princess should be due to various stereotypical perspectives that can be seen throughout the movie The stereotypes of women in the movie includes gender roles how they are viewed and their overall social status during the film s time period Likewise the film offers children morals to live up to such as not judging a person based on their appearance but morals aren t all that are provided in the movie Beauty and the Beast can have a lasting effect on a child s psyche than simply a moral learned due to the stereotypical views that are portrayed on the females within the plot From the initial scene of the movie it is quite clear that Beauty and the Beast take place around the late 18th century based on the architecture of the buildings and the clothing of the characters During the 18th century women have specific roles that are tied to them such as housekeeper maidens or agricultural laborers A woman s employment was typically low status low paid and involved fewer skills than man s during this time period Patriarchy and maledominance were the social norms during this era and women possessed almost no formal rights outside of religion and charity Emsley Hitchcock and Shoemaker par 3 As seen in the movie the very same gender roles are presented For instance most of the village female residents in Belle s hometown are portrayed as illiterate and their aversion towards the main character s Belle ability to read and think further illustrates the common stereotypical views in the movie Women were rarely given the opportunity to pursue an education during the 18th century due to their duties involving housework and raising children Additionally the song that Belle sang while she was walking through the town contains some notable scenes that show more examples of this gender role within this movie Gaston the main antagonist serves the role of the male dominance stereotype In one scene during the song Gaston makes the statement about wanted to marry Belle she is the most beautiful girl in town and don t I desire the best Gaston is shown as a muscular rich and respected character within the movie who believes that because of those reasons he deserves Belle as a wife During this time period women are expected to marry a capable male and once married they are expected to become submissive and obey their spouse To quote Women were completely controlled by the men in their lives First by their fathers brothers and male relatives and finally by their husbands Their sole purpose in life is to find a husband from Kelley Smith s article Lives of Women in The Early 1800s This quote summarizes the idealistic for women before during and after marriage which is seen similar to Gaston s idealistic for Belle The 18th century is a society primarily dominated by males while females have no say in marriage and one of their primary roles in life is to become a housewife However Belle s outrageous act of refusing Gaston s proposal left her as an outcast to the whole village because of the social norms for women during this era Trousdale and Wise Beauty and the Beast Furthermore the gender stereotype can also be seen through later parts of the film such as the scene while Belle is running away from the Beast During her escape she meets a pack of wolves in the forest but the Beast saves her and is injured in the process Belle believes that it is her duty to take care of the Beast even though he had been abusive to her This scene further reveals more gender stereotypes within the movie as it portrays the females role in this society to be nurses housekeepers or maidens A similar stereotype is also illustrated on the other minor characters in this film There were very little roles a woman could take in the 18th century should they need to take a job there were limited to jobs that center around housework Take Mrs Potts for example she is depicted as an obedient housekeeper who serves the Beast the master of the castle Despite being an intelligent character she is held down by her duties as a housekeeper Her role is one of the many stereotypes that is depicted on women in this film because she is shown to be domestic worker serving the wealthy male protagonist Other instances include the scene of an unnamed woman is struggling to buy eggs while caring for her children The scene albeit insignificant to the plot represented the woman s societal expectation of being simply a housewife whose main role is to take care of children As stated before marriage for these women was a lifetime commitment to have that many children require her to give up on any hope of independence or self empowerment because men have the right to rule over women during marriage which includes giving up their aspirations ideals and body Smith par 2 In addition to the various gender stereotypes in the movie Beauty and the Beast also portrays the female characters in a certain way that influence how others perceived them One of the most notable examples of this stereotype is how Disney chooses to represent each of the princesses in their film particularly Belle Belle is this movie is shown as a beautiful kindhearted person with a good physique and appealing facial details that complement her light skin tone and smooth hair This unrealistic view on women can be extremely harmful to one s selfimage and perspective on females as Disney Princesses like Belle tend to represent an impractical ideal female figure To exacerbate this issue Disney s stereotypical view on women is again depicted on the female side characters Take the Bimbettes for example The Bimbettes sisters in the film have smooth long hair curvy bodies and dazzling facial features that are quite similar to how Belle is portrayed The inaccurate representation on women could potentially lead the audiences to conceive the


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