Friday, July 10, 2015

Ring Around the Rose: Question the Last

Well, it's finally here.
The last week of playing "Ring Around the Rose" with my fellow authors of Five Enchanted Roses.

It's been so much fun to see what they write, and to answer these questions as well.

This week's final question is another two-parter. Feel free to answer it along with me in the comments!

Part I: What are your thoughts on the themes in Beauty and the Beast?

Ok. A deep question to end with.
I can do deep.


Besides the obvious theme of Stockholm Syndrome and its effects on unsuspecting, book-loving girls, I think the theme that I resonate with the most is that each of us has a beast within us.

 I think every person is capable of being 'beastly,' and it's only because of grace and the love of others that we don't succumb to the darker side within us.

That sounded deep didn't it?
I tried.

When I was creating my story for the retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I sat down and thought of essential characteristics of the story. I came up with the following...

1. a damsel, who may-or-may-not be 'in distress'

2. a beast, who is ugly without but can be beautiful within

3. magic

That was pretty much it. Yeah, there's the magic mirror and the rose and all that, but I just wanted the bare essentials. And when I got down to the bare essentials that I listed above, I began to see Beauty and the Beast all around me.

That leads me to...

Part II: What is your favorite version of Beauty and the Beast?

Now that I saw Beauty and the Beast  with new eyes, I saw these characteristics played out in many books and movies that I wouldn't necessarily have thought of as a B&tB retelling. But I say they are.

One of my all-time favorite books is now what I would consider a B&tB retelling:

Wuthering Heights

Cathy is the damsel.
Heathcliff is the beast. 
And there's a certain element of magic, or at least the paranormal.
Sadly, this retelling doesn't have a happily-ever-after for the two main characters, however, a happy-ever-after does come about for their children, so that's something.

Another favorite B&tB retelling is the movie, Shrek.
I love how the movie turns the story on its head. Who is the beast? Is it Shrek or is it Fiona?

When I realized that this too was a B&tB retelling, it opened my mind to the possibility of other characters in the story being "beastly" as well. Hmmm....what an interesting spin! 

I won't say much more, because I don't want to give away too many spoilers about my story, Rosara and the Jungle King, but Shrek really inspired my story. Now you'll just have to read it and see if you can figure out how!

And then, my favorite out-and-out retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story is a more recent novel, Cruel Beauty. (Look at the cover! Isn't it gorgeous!! Oh wait, the whole idea of Beauty and the Beast is to NOT judge a book by its cover. My bad.)

If you haven't read it, you should. Get thee to a bookstore, posthaste!  Or a library. Or Amazon. Just get thee somewhere! 

So, what are your favorite themes and versions of the Beauty and the Beast story?  Do tell!

And then go check out these other ladies' amazing blogs. 
You'll be impressed. (They are much deeper thinkers than I.)

See what KayceeSavannah, and Janelle wrote!
And don't forget to check out Hayden's blog tomorrow to see her response.


  1. Loneliness is a big theme. Whether an isolated castle or alone in one's own world of books. Instead of a clearcut villain/damsel, there are gradations of good vs. evil. They range from the altruistic father, the willful Beauty, Beastly prince to the witch who cast the spell. In one version he was actually a beast. Beauty leaves the castle after dark which was strictly forbidden. She comes upon Beast eating some animal with blood on his jowls. As parable I haven't figured out the message on that one. Survival, shame, IDK.
    Q #2 I enjoy the Disney versions with their fun songs, but I like darkness in my fables. I'd have to go with the Bros. Grimm and their shadowy visions.

  2. Oooh, yeah, I had forgotten about Wuthering Heights. I love that story... though I'm not sure exactly why... :) and Shrek... you're right, this story crops up all over the place! Mind. Blown.

  3. For that matter, Jane Eyre could be a B&B tale too! That is one of my all time favorite classics. I practically have it memorized lol