This post was created in response to an invitation from Sarah at The Yachtless, in which she tasked fellow bloggers to discuss the hidden messages about personal finance in fiction. Challenge accepted! You can follow along on Twitter: #pfmessages
The Disney version of Beauty and the Beast is a classic case of The Stockholm Syndrome, in which a prisoner develops feelings for their captor. While this is not an original idea, I did want to explore what actually led Belle to fall in love with the Beast. No, it wasn’t The Beast’s warmth and kindness, or the fact that he saved her life (after putting her in danger in the first place).
She fell in love because The Beast was rich. Filthy, stinking, rich. Allow me to explain.
I Ain’t Saying She’s a Gold Digger…
Belle was a small town girl with big city dreams who wanted to move out from her provincial life. The only problem? She didn’t have any means to make this dream happen for herself. As a person who read books all day, she didn’t have many marketable skills. I’m not sure what the salary range is for librarians in those days, but I’m pretty sure it was not enough to travel the world. Belle needed someone to support her. She couldn’t rely on her father the failed inventor, nor any of the men in the village who did not aspire to do much with their lives. Belle needed a suitor that would be able to provide her with the adventures that she was seeking. She needed a man with money. A lot of it.
Enter The Beast
Through the course of the movie The Beast was able to get Belle to fall in love with him large part because of his considerable wealth. He had a magnificent castle, a gigantic library, and most importantly – a friendly staff. The song “Be Our Guest” is essentially the staff brain washing Belle into being content with her captivity through the use of fine dining and musical theater. Belle fell in love with the Beast because she realized that he would be able to afford a lifestyle full of adventures and traveling.
The Real Villain of Beauty and the Beast
The Enchantress introduced in the beginning was the true villain of the story. Since Lumiere mentions that everyone in the castle has been cursed for 10 years and the magic rose was set to fall when The Beast turns 21, that would make The Prince 11 years old when he turned into The Beast. There was also no mention of parents or siblings, so we can assume that The Prince was an orphan. With a childhood like that, it should be perfectly understandable that a wealthy eleven year old boy would be a little selfish and self absorbed.
Dressing up as a poor beggar and testing the kindness of an eleven year old prince was just some cruel game to The Enchantress. The prince had every right to turn her away – he didn’t know if she was coming to steal his riches.
Turns out she took much more than his wealth. She took ten years of his life. Not only did she turn the prince into The Beast, but she cursed the whole staff. They did nothing to deserve that fate.
I mean, what did she gain by cursing the whole castle anyways?
screenshots courtesy of Disney Screencaps