Regis College Senior Honors Program
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
Psychoanalysts such as Bruno Bettelheim and Sheldon Cashdan have theorized that popular fairy tales provide children with a way to confront negative aspects of themselves by exorcising these aspects into the villainous characters contained therein. However, despite the fact that the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale contains no similar villain in its literary form, it remains prominent in the popular canon today. This thesis uses Carl Jung's anima and animus archetypes to develop the argument that the two title characters achieve this representation of the self in a different way, ultimately functioning together to create a unified 'self through the symbol of their marriage. It develops these images through Disney's version of the tale in its 1991 animated film and in two short stories by Angela Carter entitled "The Courtship of Mr. Lyon" and "The Tiger's Bride." Each incarnation of the tale reveals new facets of the characters, but they have the most meaning when considered together because they reflect different concerns within the self. The story implicitly addresses these concerns in each variation, and although the tale does not provide the same sort of psychodrama evident in many of the other fairy tales in the canon of Western literature, it amplifies and resolves a similar set of concerns into a positive and unified self.
Date of Award
© Kathryn Sullivan
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Sullivan, Kathryn, "Two in One: the Union of Jung's Anima and Animus in Beauty and the Beast" (2013). Student Publications. 601.