Deep Secret ( Was Re: On Being a Hot Babe (was Re: Hexwood -- Catchup)

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Thu Feb 7 13:47:21 EST 2002


Hallie said...
>
> I like it, fwiw.

Grin.  I'm glad someone does. :-)  I thought it was a bit tenuous,
myself.

> >Okay.  Beauty and the Beast.  Beauty goes to the Beast in order to
> >save her father from death.  What she doesn't know is that the
Beast
> >needs her to save him from Beast-dom.  And in the end, by coming to
> >love him, she does.  (Severe synopsis!)
>
> Or *much* more loosely - Beast is enchanted into an unattractive
> form.  Beauty is initally repulsed by that, but, as they're
together,
> learns to recognize Beast's true worth.  Both Beauty and Beast learn
> from each other, Beast is restored to attractiveness, each is more
> than he/she was before loving the other?

Much better!  Sometimes I feel a bit lost in the discussions on here,
because I'm not in the habit of analysing books, and I don't have the
academic background to enable me to do so with any skill...I need more
practice, I guess!  Things like this, where I simply summarised the
plot, whereas you summarised the themes, which is something that
simply hadn't occurred to me!  I like this group; I learn stuff!
>
> >So...Maree as Beauty and Rupert as Beast.  As goes physical
> >appearance, neither fits the mould.  Never mind.  Maree, under her
> >prickly exterior, has the kind-heartedness of Beauty, and Rupert,
if
> >not quite having the soul of a Beast, could fit the mould of
> >self-centred prince who might get turned into a Beast - and Maree,
> >initially, perceives him as having no decent qualities.
>
> Do you really think that badly of Rupert?

Not that badly, no.  But I do see him as having a tendency to
self-centred-ness (cf all his remarks at the end about how he spent
too much time being too pleased with himself) which, if unchecked,
*could* lead to downright selfishness and Beast-dom.

> I see him more as someone
> coping too young with far too much, and with a certain burden of
> expected harsh judgments.  If that makes sense - I'm thinking of
> Will's initial treatment of him as
> younger-brother-who-is-bound-to-screw-up, and also his sensitivity
to
> the perception that magids want to rule the world.

Yes...I think that may be his saving grace that, even without the
irruption of Maree into his life, would keep him from true
selfishness.  He does have a bit of an inferiority complex at times;
probably his occasional superiority is compensation.
>
> >Rupert/Beast actually forces himself on Maree/Beauty,
>
> Oh no he doesn't! :)

Yes, he does.  I don't mean in a sexual sense or anything silly like
that, but he intrudes himself into her life, rather than her seeking
him out.  Forces the acquaintanceship, might be a better way of
putting it.

> >Maree/Beauty does, against her will,
> >fall in love with Rupert/Beast, and one could argue that she
thereby
> >redeems him from eternal prattishness...which may, perhaps, be a
worse
> >fate than eternal Beast-dom!
>
> That brought up an interesting question - which is *when* Maree does
> actually fall in love with Rupert.  I would have thought she was
> shown to be doing little more than accepting him, until she goes to
> Babylon, but I'm not sure.  I like the second version a lot better,
> myself.

Hm.  Good question.  I think she does more than just accept him, even
before Babylon; she's upset enough after the trip to Will's that I
think she at least likes him at that point.  I think the love probably
happens so gradually that even she can't say when it happened, but the
realisation comes when she gets back from Babylon and sees him waiting
for her.

> >So...Beauty/Rupert goes to Maree/Beast.  To save his father from
> >death?  Well, to fulfill his mentor's last order, anyway.  And I do
> >get a faint feeling that if Rupert fails to find a new Magid, Stan
> >will be in an uncomfortable position with the Upper Room,
especially
> >since he insisted on coming back to help out.  This may be
stretching
> >things, though. :-)
>
> Does it have to be quite that specific?  I mean, you could think of
> the fairy tale's boundries as something like Beauty's involvement
> with Beast being in response to another's need, maybe.  So if Rupert
> adds the romantic expectations to his search for the next magid, he
> still starts it as a duty.

Again, you're thinking more widely than it occurred to me to do!  And
you're right, of course.
>
> >Anyway, in the end Beauty/Rupert does come to love Beast/Maree, and
> >thereby wakens her to the knowledge of her true power, as well as
> >saving her from a life of bitterness and regret (which I can see
her
> >slipping into, given Robbie, and her fat little Dad dying, not to
> >mention Janine - who might serve for the evil wizard who made the
> >Beast a Beast, here).
>
> Yes, that's what struck me - a lot of Maree's initial
> unattractiveness seems tied up with all the things done to her - her
> position as poor relation in the family (that's Cinderella again but
> still),

B&B as well; in the original tale, Beauty is the despised youngest
sister who does all the work while the older sisters preen themselves
and complain about their loss of money/position.  In fact, I'm not at
all sure that I haven't read a version in which the elder sisters are
even *step*-sisters.

> the dreariness of her outlook, and Janine makes a wonderful
> evil wizard!  And the way Maree comes back from Babylon transformed
> is such an interesting play on the usual fairy-tale transformation.

Fairy-tale transformations often seem to be imposed on the
characters - or simply consist of someone recognising the true worth
of someone.  DWJ's transformations tend to come about as a result of
the character's own actions - only you can change yourself!
>
> Lovely basis for much mental gymnastics, Dorian.  Thanks!

I'm having fun too, stretching my brain!

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian.
--
Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"Where-e'er you find 'the cooling western breeze,'
In the next line, it 'whispers through the trees':
If crystal streams 'with pleasing murmurs creep,'
The reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with 'sleep'"
-Alexander Pope, "Essay on Criticism"

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