- Purchase/rental options available:
We examine the typical treatment of the beast transformation in Western European fairy tales and consider how this may reflect the sociohistorical realities of human-animal relationships. In particular, we discuss Angela Carter’s treatment of the “Beauty and the Beast” story in “The Tiger’s Bride” (1979), which emphasizes the protagonist’s rationality, in relation to central ideas from the animal studies movement. Carter’s story provides a profound critique of the post-Enlightenment, postagrarian culture in which men perceive women and animals as not merely objects of consumption but objects of exchange. Her tale proposes a worldview in which the animals, like female humans, must be respected as subjects.