(Ok, just look at how similar these movies are!!!)
Maybe it's because these are two of my favorite stories of all time. Maybe it's because I've compared them so long that I took it for granted that others couldn't see the similarities.
But in my mind, Pride & Prejudice and Beauty and the Beast are two of the most beautiful hate/love stories of all time. And they happen to have some wild similarities. :)
These are the connections I see between the two stories. As always, spoiler warning if you haven't read/watched these. Be sure to add yours in the comments below.
1. The strong female heroine is a great reader and walker with a lovely temperament. Elizabeth and Belle are two of my all-time favorites. One is my favorite Jane Austen heroine; the other is my favorite Disney princess. They are both great readers and great walkers. As Darcy says, "[Her eyes] were brightened by the exercise," and "the improvement of her mind by extensive reading." Additionally, the heroines are courageous, kind, and beautiful in a non-intimidating way.
2. The heroine has a rough family life but is close to her father. Elizabeth's sisters and mother are called "very silly." Belle's mother is not in the picture at all, and her dad is the village crazy guy. Still, both girls tend to be close to/confide in their fathers.
3. Heroine accidentally stumbles into the guy's castle. Whoops! Did I say castle? Pemberley and Beast's castle aren't the exact same, but they are still magnificent and intimidating. Both Elizabeth and Belle find themselves at their future man's castle before falling in love with him. (It was the library, wasn't it, Belle?)
4. Hero appears fearsome and proud in the beginning. And they are. Darcy and Beast tend to overreact, be less than polite, and become the girls' enemies for a time.
5. Sometime during this interlude, she receives an alternate marriage proposal. Yes, this is probably the first time in history that Mr. Collins and Gaston have been compared, but both are so pompous and full of themselves. The heroines can see this right away and call it for what it is. There is no room in these guys' hearts for another, no matter how much they want a wife to wash their socks. :P
6. Terrifying, awful, proud, and almost antagonistic hero softens in response to the heroine's presence. Elizabeth doesn't see Darcy's soft spot for her until they meet unexpectedly at Pemberley, and Belle doesn't recognize any good in the Beast until he saves her from the wolves. From that point on, there is a distinctive change in the heroes.
7. The couple dances. Is it possible to not love a good dance scene? The girls get into their rather low-cut dresses and gloves, and the men wear their best breeches, waistcoats, and cravats. Thus we have the perfect romantic setting--for witty banter.
8. The girl and guy argue/banter! Elizabeth and Darcy's witty conversations and light-hearted teasing make Pride & Prejudice one of the most truly beloved novels from Jane Austen's day. Belle and Beast tend to get into shouting matches more than their regency counterparts, but the heartfelt animosity is the same. :P
9. The mean-guy-turned-hero takes care of her in her family crisis. When Elizabeth's sister Lydia elopes, Darcy sets out to find the couple and pay for their marriage without Elizabeth's knowledge. Belle discovers her father is in trouble, and Beast lets her go.
10. The heroine sees the hero for who he truly is, and the couple declares their love. Elizabeth learns of what Darcy has done for her family, and the immensity of her gratitude is second only to her great and growing love for him. Belle literally watches the Beast transform back into a human (Prince Adam, to be exact). Their transformations complete, the heroes and heroines fully recognize that "there must be something there that wasn't there before."
I hope I have opened your eyes to the parallels between my two favorite stories.
More Wild Similarities!
P.S. I have been pumped for over a year about the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie (3.17.17). In honor of it, I painted this Belle silhouette, just like I made a Cinderella silhouette in honor of that movie.