Beauty and the Beast

I used to think the same, but after reducing the entirety of the storyform down into a Narrative Argument for almost 400 individual stories now, I can tell you that the Crucial Element is everything. It’s a shortcut to the meaning of the story.

The Beast is 100% Control.

Belle is 100% Freedom.

“Who could ever learn to love a beast” implies a baiting or luring of one into affections. This touches on the Beast’s perspective as well as concerns in the Overall Story perspective.

As far as Hinder goes - we’re introduced to her as someone who always has her head in a book - physically “getting in the way” during the opening song, as well as obstructing other people’s plans for her (Gaston).

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Hmm. I thought we were accounting for this by setting the MC Problem (Drive) to Free and the IC Focus to Control.

Are you saying those MUST be the Crucial Elements? If so, the Beast’s IC problem quad cannot include Control/Uncontrolled – it ends up as Temptation/Conscience/Help/Hinder.

The Crucial Elements indicate the breaking point between objective and subjective views – between the Overall Story Perspective and the Main Character Perspective.

Control and Freedom would be in both Belle’s Throughline and the Overall Story Throughline.

Which one of the following sounds more like the argument of Beauty and the Beast?

Keep living free from attachments and you can transform the cruelest of men into a prince.


Keep getting in the way of things and you can transform the cruelest of men into a prince.

There appears to be more evidence of the former.

I can see what you mean, but I just want to give Hinder and Help a fair shake. How about:

Keep accepting burdens onto yourself and you can transform the cruelest of men into a prince.

OR (assuming we flip the dynamic pairs, which @Lakis and I were going to try next)

Keep helping others and you can transform the cruelest of men into a prince.

That said, I’m totally willing to look at the storyform with Conscience or Temptation as OS Problem. I actually do like Responsibility a lot for the OS Issue (Belle takes responsibility for her father when she takes his place; the villagers take responsibility to rid the world of the beast), and in fact that’s in the storyform I came up with on my own last year. Hmm…

Both of those narrative arguments sound good tome @mlucas.

I could also potentially see Responsibility. Conscience and Temptation don’t quite feel right though.

I am not confident about it, but I see the Beast’s problem as Temptation. Example here is the problem in the beginning:

And here is the Beast’s Change:

It seems to me that he’s got conscience as solution, but maybe I’m wrong.


Well, that pretty much wraps it up. LOL

(Totally forgot about that scene - you’ll notice I didn’t leave an example of Conscience!)


I can see Conscience here. But can you explain a little more (also @kf27) how his problem would be Temptation? Maybe I’m misunderstanding the meaning of the word. Is the idea that he has to lure or seduce someone (e.g. make someone fall in love with him)?


(crossposted with @Lakis)

Cool @kf27 ! It’s possible that we’re getting into a small difference between the live action story and the cartoon – but more likely that I need to just watch the live action movie again, since it’s been a year. There’s only so much you can get from the script.

Also, one cool thing about Responsibility is that it puts the RS in Morality – which is a fantastic way to describe “we need to fall in love in order to lift the curse for everyone”.


I see the problem of Temptation here as a kind of superficial or inconsiderate judgement. It’s similiar in the Pride and Prejudice. (

(Sorry for grammar mistakes, but English is not my primary language :slight_smile: )


So do we have a final storyform?

Yes, I believe it’s



Jim did you mean Steadfast here? That’s what we’ve been assuming for Belle.

I think that you’re all saying the lack of adventure in the future creates conflict in Belle that we see coming out in song now, or that being imprisoned in the future is a problem because Belle won’t be able to have the adventure she longs for and won’t be able to take care of her father. Is that accurate?

The reason I’m having trouble with that is because it’s not that Belle is going to move to some small provincial life or be imprisoned in the future. Those things are happening now. And yes, they will continue in perpetuity into the future, but I don’t see how they are a Future source of inequity when both are presently happening. If you’re pointing to her desire to have adventure in the future, I also don’t get the idea that that’s a Future desire. She wants those things now. That’s why she reads the books, to fulfill that desire for adventure now the only way she can.

What future? He wants to marry her, which implies a future. But she is not betrothed to him. He pursues her, and she turns him down. That is happening now. There’s one line in a song where she imagines being ‘his little wife’ but that’s all the future that is even mentioned that I can think of with that topic.


Whoops! Yes. Steadfast is right. Sorry about that.

No I think it’s more that she wants adventure in the great wide open and that she wants more than she can bear. And for once it would be grand if they could understand, that she’s got something more PLANNED.


Her plans are to have adventure, so that is pretty much what I said. What did I miss? You’re saying that having these plans for the future are problematic for Belle. How are they shown to be a problem if not by producing the inner turmoil within her that leads her to sing about it?
And does she really have a future planned? No. She just wants more than this provincial life that she’s presently living. She wants that in the future, but she wants it now, too.

Imagine that Belle knows that in a few months she and her father are leaving the provincial town for the land of her dreams, someplace magical and wonderful that encourages girls to read and learn and have adventures. (Hogwart’s, maybe. Post Voldemort of course. And hope no one notices the resemblance. “Ron, stop staring at that girl! I could look like that if I spent more time on my hair.”)

Imagine they already have their tickets.

Do you think she would still be singing longingly about not having adventure, about the boring life the town has planned for her? Or that Gaston and the Nasty Headmaster would bother her?

I think she’d be so excited she wouldn’t even notice them!

To put it a different way, the thing that’s producing the inner turmoil you mentioned (great term BTW) is the boring future she’s stuck with.

Although Jim paraphrased to make his point, the line from the song is actually “I want so much more than THEY’VE got planned.” The townsfolk have stuck (Universe) her with a boring, unfulfilling future.


yes, I think Gaston planning to murder her father or throw him in the asylum would still bother her.

Aren’t they currently carrying out those plans? THEY don’t have a future plan any more than she does. All I see that you’ve done with the letter to Hogwarts is remove one song.