Beauty and the Beast
In August of 2009, Jaycee Lee Dugard was found alive after she had been abducted in 1991, and she was still with her original captor. Sources have stated that Dugard had developed a case of Stockholm syndrome with the man who kidnapped her eighteen years ago. A psychiatrist named Keith Ablow stated that “To maintain one’s desperation and grief and rage for many years, would be too damaging to the human mind – so the human mind tells itself a story about safety and contentment to safeguard itself – that’s the essence of Stockholm Syndrome” (Engel). For decades, Stockholm syndrome has made an appearance in dozens of films; sometimes the entire plot focuses around it, sometimes it’s a vague reference. However, one instance of Stockholm syndrome that is incredibly pronounced, yet never addressed occurs in Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Trousdale 1991). Based on a French novel, Beauty and the Beast was critically acclaimed as being one of the best love stories ever told, as it taught to love what is within, instead of being consumed by vanity; it was considered so successful that it was even the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for best picture. However, even with its critical and box office success, no one has really addressed what kind of love story Disney is promoting. The film Beauty and the Beast does not show a story of true love and admiration of inner beauty, but instead promotes the idea of Stockholm syndrome and falling in love with your kidnapper. When Belle goes on a quest to save her father, she ends up at a secluded castle, where she finds her father locked inside the dungeon at the top of a tower. The Beast, who rules the castle, offers to let her father go if Belle takes his place as prisoner. His reasoning for making her stay as his prisoner is his hope of making her fall in love with him (and him with her) in order to break the curse upon him, his servants, and his castle. Right...
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