The Beast in Beauty: Notions of the Marriage Contract, Sexual Power, and Objectification of Woman in "Beauty and the Beast"
Betts, Theresa A.
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I chose to examine the "Beauty and the Beast" stories for I felt they tackled notions of women's sexuality, economic class issues, domestic violence, and the concept of a sexual contract. Beauty is a pawn in the game of men. Her name sums up her entire person as a pretty doll to look at and play with. Of all the feminist revisions of "Beauty and the Beast" I chose to examine Angela Carter and her compilation of short stories in The Bloody Chamber (1979) as the stories are both feminist revisions and good storytelling. These stories are about fairy tales rather than being simply fairy tales. They are supposed to be read as critiques of both the patriarchy and the fairy tale genre. This is why I chose two of her fairy tales, "The Courtship of Mr. Lyon" and "The Tiger's Bride" to examine this thesis. The story to which I will compare Carter's revisions is Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont's ''La Belle et la Bete" (1756). Madame Beaumont's version of the Beauty and the Beast story is considered to be the "original" version that most other versions emulate or deviate from in content.
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