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Beauty and the beast

             Ring around the rosies, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down. To modern society this seems like a nonsensical children's rhyme, instead of a rhyme about the Black Death and horrors that it held for society at that time. Without knowledge of the origins of the rhyme, it is just that. The same goes for stories and fairy tales. Stories provide a glimpse of what is taking place in the society of the times. By comparing different versions of the same story over time one can make connections to society's values and the evens of the time period. One can also compare stories within the same time period to achieve different viewpoints within the society itself.
             Looking at the story of beauty and the beast, one can use this example to lean much about the values that certain societies hold at certain times. The story of beauty and the beast has its origins in the early Roman myth of Cupid and Psyche, and since then has evolved into the modern versions that we have today such as the animated Disney film Beauty and the Beast and Barbara G. Walker's Ugly and the Beast. Throughout time the fundamental ideas of the story remain the same. A selfless and devoted daughter willingly sacrifices herself for her father. Although the beauty character has sisters who are sad to see her go to an almost certain death in the clutches of the beast, the others will not even volunteer to go in place of her. The beauty character is then rewarded for her selflessness with her marriage to an important and wealthy husband who is much to her liking. Although the stories vary dramatically, these three elements are present in all of the versions. In Cupid and Psyche, Psyche is the beauty character. Her father travels to an oracle to ask how to find a decent husband for Psyche. Much to his dismay the oracles reveals that Psyche is to go to a rocky summit to await her fearful husband in the form of a winged serpent.

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