Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

There are several adaptations of The Beauty and the Beast, but three in particular are intriguing because of their use of a dark female force. The goddess Diana in the film La Belle et la Bête (Cocteau), Bertha Mason in the novel Jane Eyre (Brontë), and Mrs. Bates in the film Psycho (Hitchcock) all qualify as subverted fairy godmothers in their respective tales because of their role as “other,” their exertion of the female gaze, and their ability to undermine the Belle and Beast figures’ ability to love. Though traditional fairy godmothers utilize magic to aid the protagonists, these adaptations incorporate nontraditional, subverted fairy godmothers to revolutionize the role of fairy godmothers and fairy tales in society.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Dennis Perry

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The Beauty, the Beast, and the Subverted Fairy Godmother Figure

There are several adaptations of The Beauty and the Beast, but three in particular are intriguing because of their use of a dark female force. The goddess Diana in the film La Belle et la Bête (Cocteau), Bertha Mason in the novel Jane Eyre (Brontë), and Mrs. Bates in the film Psycho (Hitchcock) all qualify as subverted fairy godmothers in their respective tales because of their role as “other,” their exertion of the female gaze, and their ability to undermine the Belle and Beast figures’ ability to love. Though traditional fairy godmothers utilize magic to aid the protagonists, these adaptations incorporate nontraditional, subverted fairy godmothers to revolutionize the role of fairy godmothers and fairy tales in society.