Compare and Contrast Three Versions of Beauty and the Beast
We are going to take a brief look at three versions of Beauty and the Beast to see how they differ from one another. The three versions that will be considered here are; the original story La Belle et la Bête written by Madame GabrielleSuzanne Barbot de Velleneuve in 1740, the second publishing of an abridged Beauty and the Beast written by Madame Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont in 1756, and Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. In examining these stories the compare and contrast focus will be on how Belle is portrayed in each rendering and in the overall lessons of the stories.
In Villeneuve’s original work Belle had five older sisters and six brothers. Beaumont’s retelling changes the sibling numbers so that Belle has two older sisters and three brothers. Walt Disney’s account leaves us with Belle as a lonely, only child. Villeneuve and Beaumont both place Belle as the youngest of the children. It is interesting to note that Belle went from the youngest of 12 children to the youngest of 6 children and then to an only child as the story was adapted over time. It is also noteworthy to observe that the first two stories were written before the start of the French Revolution but Disney’s story leads us to believe that
the French Revolution is the backdrop of the story. In the story first created by Gabrielle Villeneuve we are not given the nickname of the youngest daughter, Bella, until 470 words are told but in the rewritten story by Jeanne Beaumont we are told the nickname of the youngest daughter, “The little Beauty”, within the first 56 words. It is explained right away that she was admired when she was young because of her looks and as she grew up the nickname stuck but was reduced to just “Beauty”. In Disney’s version we are just told her name is Belle and that she is beautiful.
Cited: 11 Nov. 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
Disney, Walt. Disney 's Beauty and the Beast. Danbury, CT: Grolier Enterprises,
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