Multiliteracies in ELA Classrooms

Adapting Beauty and the Beast

October 10th, 2012 · No Comments

I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of children’s literature and fairy tales in particular. When I saw this trailer for the upcoming CW show, Beauty and the Beast, I knew two things almost immediately. One, I HAD to watch it. Two, I HAD to convince other people to watch it. (As an added bonus, it also fit well with this week’s topic on literary adaptations.)

The new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast is vastlt different from the original story written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in the 1700s. The original version was a product of its patriarchal times, and while the CW version is more balanced between the male and female role – and if anything, judging by the trailer, I would say that the adaptation focuses more on the female protagonist’s backstory than the Villeneuve version. Likewise, the CW version exchanges the father-daughter relationship from the original for a mother-daughter relationship – again breaking away from the influence of partriarchy. The CW version got me thinking about what viewers expect female and male roles to be on television nowadays and how TV adaptations often adapt to culture and the atmosphere of the society in which they are produced.

-Kiran Heer

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