Study Guide

Beauty and the Beast Community

Community

TOWNSPEOPLE: Now, it's no wonder that her name means "beauty"
Her looks have got no parallel!
But behind that fair façade
I'm afraid she's rather odd
Very different from the rest of us...
She's nothing like the rest of us
Yes, different from the rest of us is Belle!

Community, part 1: the village really seems to enjoy pointing out who "belongs" and who doesn't. Belle definitely isn't considered part of the community, mostly because she likes books and doesn't necessarily want to get married. What a weird girl.

MAURICE: I-I-I was lost in the woods....and-and...

BEAST: You are not welcome here!

Here's the Beast shutting himself off from any additions to his community. He has to learn to be welcoming to outsiders who need his help, something which he couldn't do when the enchantress paid her visit.

GASTON: I'd like to thank you all for coming to my wedding. But first, I'd better go in there and propose to the girl.

And nobody thought she might object? These people really aren't much better than Gaston. They cater to his every whim, and they're happy to do horrible things in his name. They can't understand that a man who's handsome on the outside might actually be a repellent toad on the inside.

MAURICE: No, please, spare my daughter!

BEAST: She's no longer your concern.

Once again, the Beast divides his community into insiders and outsiders. Belle is "in," and Maurice is "out." This is a big part of his attitude that really needs adjusting.

LEFOU: There's no man in town as admired as you / You're everyone's favorite guy!

Just so we're clear, the townsfolk think Gaston is a paragon of virtue and sit in total envy of his perceived awesome-osity. Not exactly a foundation for righteous values in this little town.

TOWNSPEOPLE: We don't like
What we don't understand
In fact, it scares us
And this monster is mysterious at least.

These lyrics lay out what's usually behind senseless hatred: ignorance. Gaston uses it to unify the townspeople against the Beast, who's viewed as "not our kind." A sign that community spirit can be a bad thing as well as a good thing.

LUMIERE: Could it be?

MRS. POTTS: Is it she?

Here's a sure sign that Belle's community is now the castle. They want her to come back, unlike the villagers who consider her an oddball.

TOWNSPEOPLE: Here we go / We're 50 strong / And 50 Frenchmen can't be wrong!

Sure, they can, and no, we're not picking on the French. Here we see just how wrong a whole community can be and how such narrow-mindedness can be very, very dangerous. BTW, the lyrics are a nod to a 1927 song, "Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong," co-written by Willie Raskin that ridiculed America's uptight Prohibition-Era attitudes compared to those of the amorous and fun-loving French.

LUMIERE: This isn't working. 

FEATHER DUSTER: Oh, Lumiere. We must do something.

Contrast this with the way the townspeople behave most of the time. The villagers unite against anyone they think is different: Belle, Maurice, the Beast. The castle's inhabitants, on the other hand, don't throw their own to the wolves. They're in it together to the end. No surprise Belle decides to trade in the local peasants for the talking breakfast set.

BEAST: Lumiere! Cogsworth! Mrs. Potts! Look at us!

This is important—the Beast looks at the breaking of the curse as it affects everyone, not just himself. He takes pleasure in their transformations, too.

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