We all know the story of Beauty and The Beast. Belle starts out this Disney classic singing about how different she feels in her small village and how she desires to go on adventures. It’s clear that there is a muscular jerk, Gaston after her simply because she is beautiful, but she’s just not interested. After her father goes missing she finds herself in an enchanted castle where the candlesticks dance, the clocks make snarky remarks, and the dishware is unimaginably cute. But what is forbidden and scary about this castle is the gigantic beast with an equally gigantic anger problem similar to that of my 16-year-old brother.
After a fierce battle fueled by love and obsession between the beast and Gaston, Belle heals the mortally wounded beast and turns him from a monster to a man. Everyone in the castle turns from household items into people and the rest is history. Yay, happy endings.
Happy ending depending on whom you talk to. Let’s look back to Belle’s life before she met the beast.
Belle is a beautiful bookworm and everyone in the town acknowledges it. She likes to stay inside and really doesn’t show any desire to be with people anymore than she has to. In fact, she would much rather go on an adventure. She states that she lives in a “little town full of little people.”, Ouch Belle, that’s a little rude.
But what really stands out is her dismay at marrying Gaston. It’s financial stability! It’s a chance of not being a hobo! This fairytale supposedly takes place in the mid-1700s when women couldn’t take on jobs of their own and support themselves. Refusing to marry the most lusted after man in the village was basically a death wish. Face it Belle, Daddy’s not going to live forever.
People have suggested that Belle suffered from Schizoid Personality Disorder. This disorder is characterized by a reluctance to have social relationships and a preference towards solidary. Other symptoms include apathy, blunted affect, and emotional coldness. Some cases even involve favorability towards making relationships with inanimate objects and animals.
Belle isn’t necessarily cold and doesn’t have blunted affect. For those who don’t know, blunted affect is when one feels less extreme emotions than what is normal. But Belle does seem apathetic towards the town she lives in, following rules, and social norms. Maybe she’s independent and can’t be tamed! No, she lives in the mid-1700s and it’s different back then. You need to follow the norms to survive, especially women, sorry.
Belle doesn’t really like interacting with people, that’s for sure. She talks to people as little as possible and even would rather tell the sheep about her book than anyone on the street. She then goes home and reads some more. As with any mental illness, there’s a spectrum. Some people have more intense cases of an illness and more people are less affected by it. I would say Belle is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
Thinking through it all, maybe Belle didn’t live “Happily Ever After.” Maybe she walked right into her nightmare. Think about it, she doesn’t prefer interacting with people so living in a castle full of talking inanimate objects and a beast is actually a dream come true! But once she breaks the spell and everyone turns back into humans, it quickly takes a turn for the worst. Now Belle is stuck in a castle full of people to interact with forever. If I was her I would lock myself in that library pronto. Good luck Belle!