Beastly Manipulations--Was Beauty w/ spoilers

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Thu Jan 20 17:34:26 EST 2000

On Wed, 19 Jan 2000 20:56:55 EST, JOdel at wrote:

>This debate begins to sound as if it is spinning a bit out of porportion. If 
>I may make myself a target here...

(hunting around for the crossbow, but it appears to have vanished....)

>All of these points are very interesting, and very valid, but let's not let 
>them run away with us to the degree that we forget that we are talking about 
>the retelling of a traditional tale here. McKinley inherited the manipulative 
>statement from the original story. If the Beast does not tell Beauty that he 
>will die without her, she will not know about it. If she does not know it, 
>she has no reason to hurry back (or return at all, if this is to be viewed as 
>a prisoner's escape rather than a co-ruler's temporary absence).


>The Beast does tell her that he will die if she is too long away (he HAS to, 
>it is absolutely necessary to the story that Beauty make her return bearing th
>is knowledge, and in Rose Daughter there is, literally, no one else TO tell 
>her).  But, in the same breath, he tells her that since he brought her to the 
>palace by a lie, he does not deserve that she return. Even more manipulative? 
>I don't think so. I think that is is an indication that the Beast is also 
>capable of screwing up his courage and doing the right thing, even if his own 
>life is forfet.

Despite my not being as fond of _Rose Daughter_, I have to say that it
really is a more mature novel.  Where _Beauty_ is still a retelling of the
original fairy tale despite all the changes McKinley makes, _Rose Daughter_
is more her own novel.  She takes the basic idea of the Beast in the castle
who needs to be freed, but then spins a different story from that.  It shows
more literary control, for one thing, more mastery of her own skill, and
gives her more freedom of expression.

Melissa Proffitt
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