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

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Mon Feb 11 17:56:50 EST 2002


[on Beauty and the Beast & DS]

>  >
>>  Or *much* more loosely - Beast is enchanted into an unattractive
>>  form.  Beauty is initally repulsed by that, but, as they're
>>  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!

And just what do you call your reading and replying to how-ever many 
thousand messages you get daily - all about books? :)

>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!

Heartily seconded!  But, despite the nice gloss you put on it, I 
don't think this had anything to do with academically based analysis. 
It's just that one of the *many* things which deeply impresses me 
about F&H is the way DWJ took exactly as much as she wanted from the 
Tam Lin story, freely dumping what didn't work.  So, liking your 
original idea, I simply tried to dump a few details that prevented 
its fitting DS.

>  >
>>  >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,
>>  >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.

That's interesting - his remarks at the end seem to me to be his 
being pretty hard on himself, and blaming himself for things he 
really had no chance of preventing.


>  >
>  > >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.

Ok.  I was mostly going for the pantomime theme, thanks to all the 
fairy tale talk, but I did also take the wrong meaning.

[more snippage]

>  >
>>  >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
>>  >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.

True - I'd forgotten that part.

Possibly unfortunately, this is also one element among several which 
struck me as having Jane Eyre resonances.  But since JE has allusions 
to just about every possible book and type of writing around at the 
time, that may not be quite as unlikely as it seems.


To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list