“Beauty and the Beast” by Jeanne - Marie Leprince de Beaumont is a fairy tale about love, gratefulness, hardship, and cruelty. There are so many versions of this story that readers can easily find themselves puzzled, but the number is not really important, for the plot remains almost unchanged.
Beauty’s father, the rich merchant, just can’t say not to his children. The man has enough money to provide them with the opportunities that even the noblest houses fail to offer. However, life is a very unpredictable thing. One might be a king one day, but he can also become a poor beggar tomorrow. The man loses his money as well as his place in the high society, so he and the rest of the family have to move to countryside. Of course, his older daughters are in distress. Their father fails to explain an idea of all people being equal and deserving respect no matter how much money they have to them, so the young ladies continue behaving in a way that clearly shows their disdain for villagers.
Unlike her sisters, Beauty doesn’t seem to mind the changes in her life, she even welcomes them. The girl does everything she can to help her father, but there is not much she can do. That’s why when the father goes to the city, she doesn’t ask him for expensive jewelry and beautiful dresses. A single rose that she doesn’t really need is her only wish. The interesting thing is that the father is not a perfect character. When he finds the Beast’s castle as well as some food, wine, a cozy bed, and a stable for his horse, he thinks that it is acceptable to take a rose from the owner’s garden without asking for a permission to do so. One might think that it is not a big deal, but let’s not forget that it is a fairy tale, so a bit of exaggeration is allowed here.
Being a good daughter, Beauty is willing to sacrifice her own life. This is how she expresses her love and respect for her father. Though it is just a coincidence that a red rose she requests leads to such an unpleasant outcome, she puts all the blame on herself. She doesn’t allow the father to sacrifice his life. Owing to her natural cleverness, she quickly understands that the Beast wouldn’t put so much effort into making her life that good if he wanted to kill her. She starts making good friends with the Beast and soon discovers that he is not that bad. On the contrary, he has learned his lesson and became a better person. A short-lasting visit to her father opens her eyes, she understand that her friendly feelings have developed into true love.
Though “Beauty and the Beast” is a beautiful fairy tale, it shouldn’t be idealized. While lots of people find Beauty and the Beast’s love story romantic, it would be useful to remind that there is nothing beautiful in taking people hostage and insisting on getting married.