One of the last fairy tale I did for July from Tam of Willowing's class Ever After 2016) was taught by Andrea Gomoll-whose lessons always seem joyful, fun and magical-I love her style of teaching, but for some reason I was dreading actually painting this one even though Beauty and the Beast holds a special spot in my heart for many reasons-1) my grandfather always hummed the Disney song Tale as Old as Time-which I played on the piano at his funeral, 2) I loved the Movie and is one of the first movies I can remember seeing in theatres 3) I like the story. I don't know if it was because I am close to the story that I was dreading it for fear of it not turning out? no idea. I pushed through though and do like what I did.
Like the other fairy tales I wrote about in July, I went back and read the original story. Belle is still an exceptional character of highest values and kindness, helping, forgiving, sense of duty, She also isn't longing for adventure like the Disney Belle, but doesn't shy away when it appears. Trying to make things easier for her father she asks for a single rose, which after a series of events angers the Beast (who kindly provided for the father when he was lost and gave him gifts) because his roses are the one thing he takes joy in. The Beast presents the father with the ultimatum that he must give up one of his daughters of her own free will to him or the father must stay himself. Belle feeling it is her fault volunteers herself. The Beast treats he kindly, and provides for her everything she could dream and every night asks her for her hand in marriage and every night she kindly declines. Meanwhile she is dreaming of his princely form w(ho asks her to help him and to not be deceived by appearances and to "Follow the first impulse of gratitude", which she mistakes as the Beast must have him prisoner somewhere. After a series of events where Belle leaves and returns to find the Beast almost dead she realizes she loved him all along and breaks the spell. She realized she was tied to him by "stronger ties than that of gratitude".
So perhaps the lesson of the story is not to be deceived by appearances, but like always I tried to dig a little deeper for a meaning within myself and here is what I found:
Belle in the story seems to be the ideal "dream" girl-kinds sweet, caring, compassionate, self sacrificing, beautiful,...She is a strong, brave and noble character, and makes her own decisions. While often guided by her heart, she chose to be deceived by the Beasts appearance, fearing him. Perhaps the Beast represents the unknown, a=maybe the wild self. Perhaps the Beast sit he representation of the unacknowledged, and often suppressed wild self. So from this discovery the lessons or affirmations I take away from this fairy tale are: Listen to your wild heart, Embrace and nurture your wild side, know your beasts.
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Jennifer Russell was born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada.She is an Intentional artist who focuses on creating meaning full connections to her work for herself and others. Nothing is more satisfying to her than hearing that her work has inspired someone in their own life.