Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Scripts that Tame Us: "Beauty and the Beast" as Vehicle of Cultural Construction and Deconstruction
by Anderson, Amanda L., Ph.D., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2013, 209; 3615284
Abstract (Summary)

From Madame Le Prince de Beaumont to Francesca Lia Block, Walter Crane to Mercer Mayer, and Jacques Cocteau to the Walt Disney Company, authors, artists, and filmmakers are drawn to recreating "Beauty and the Beast." As a result "Beauty and the Beast" is reformatted to reflect shifts in cultural assumptions, particularly ideas of gender roles, sexuality, and identifying the Other. Therefore, by examining the recurring motifs of the feminine ideal, the Beast as Other, and the transposition of the tale to an Orientalized setting, within adaptations of "Beauty and the Beast," it becomes clear that the tale is a multi-voiced tool with which authors and illustrators use to simultaneously support and subvert the hegemonic status quo. Examining the significance of "Beauty and the Beast" offers insight as to the power that revised texts have over their precursor texts and their producing culture. By understanding the importance of "Beauty and the Beast" as a symbiotic text, one can understand how it functions within its cultural context. Such an examination reveals that not only does culture dictate the tales we tell, but also that the tales we tell dictate our cultural identity. Ultimately this project concludes that this tale works within Western culture to convey shifting cultural messages about Otherness, women, and Islam.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Geer, Jennifer
Commitee: Davis-McElligatt, Joanna, Gaudet, Marcia
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Comparative literature, Folklore
Keywords: Beauty and the beast, Children's literature, Fairy tale, Folklore
Publication Number: 3615284
ISBN: 978-1-303-81181-4
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