There are lots of synonyms for selfishness. Try any dictionary online, या a hard copy (remember those?), and आप can see that these words share exactly the same meaning, if only stated in slightly different ways:
egoistic (also egoistical), egomaniacal, egotistic (or egotistical), narcissistic, self-absorbed, self-centered,self-concerned, self-infatuated, self-interested, self-involved, egocentric, self-loving, self-obsessed, self-oriented, self-preoccupied, self-regarding, self-seeking, self-serving, solipsistic ( credit provided to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online link
). The small unsavory fact is, that selfishness has existed since the dawn of time. We're not getting away from it. Even our speech and the definitions of our words reflect the extent to which we have grappled with this vice. It's a pretty heady thing to think about, when all is कहा and done.
In the last article, I posited the idea that on some level, each one of the डिज़्नी Princesses displays selfishness. And while some think this is a far-fetched idea, because it opens psychological issues that transcend most mental compartmentalization of what selfishness is--- still the fact remains that human nature has a selfish component within it. Sure, it does not crop up all the time if we strive for awareness of it...but it is there. Actually, defining selfishness is very difficult for even the psychologists who take the time to analyze the way social behavior goes down ( see the following लेख link
). But the point I am making here is the following. If we ourselves find something realistic in the डिज़्नी Princesses, then that is because certain traits within them appeal to us. Their good traits definitely appeal to us. And their vices also appeal to us, if on a और subliminal level.
I do realize that going further down this line of reasoning is not without its pitfalls. After one sees the vices in people we've known all of our lives, we feel slightly dissatisfied at seeing "the whole picture." Holding up a mirror to oneself and analyzing one's own personality for unbecoming traits is a chore and painfully disconcerting. Similarly, looking critically at others is not at all as glamorous as looking at the surface of their personality.
However, I am one of those people who does not like to "lump sum" and prejudge on a "select few" people for their personality quirks, instead of taking everybody and doing the same thing all across the board. Fair is fair. If आप are going to pass judgment on a single person-- या in the case of the डिज़्नी Princesses, a single princess---you should take the time to pass judgment on every other princess, too--- not just the ones आप hate, but also the ones आप love.
So, going back to my original premise that led me to write this series, I believe that the डिज़्नी Princesses are NOT this line of "all charming female characters with stellar personalities." Not even the Classic डिज़्नी Princesses (bastions of डिज़्नी Pride and Virtue) are shown to be exemplary in all aspects (I showed आप some of their questionable thoughts and actions, earlier). Because I see that all of these डिज़्नी Princesses are not "perfect" in every instance, when I take the time to hold up a magnifying glass and look critically at everybody, the projections of perfection we have put up fall away. I stop blindly saying "this princess is totally wonderful, while so-and-so isn't."
If आप aren't interested in पढ़ना any further, believe me, I understand. I knew this was a touchy discussion to have. No matter how many लेखाए on Disney's feminism I read and no matter how many लेखाए on डिज़्नी Princesses I read... I keep circling back to this same issue, unfortunately. After the dust settled on the angry arguments about how the डिज़्नी Princesses weren't any good for anybody--- girls या boys--- I knew THAT wasn't true, and another fallacy that people had built up in their minds. Sure, these girls aren't exactly role models. NONE OF THEM ARE PERFECT. And even if they aren't what the doctor ordered, they STILL ARE RELATABLE to a large segment of the world's population! They exist because LESSONS are being taught through them. आप don't have to be perfect characters to impart a lesson, now do you?
All right. With the theory behind me on why I even bothered to do this, let's skip down to the main entree.
Belle. I forgot to do Belle last time, because my flu-ridden brain had a brain fart, and her name went right out of my head (which mixed up the order in which the princesses came out, but whatever). But Belle is back now. Today, (because I am still low on energy), I'm going to cover the अगला three डिज़्नी Princesses: Belle, Pocahontas, and Mulan. Don't पंच your monitor screen because of what is कहा below. I’m not out to antagonize you. I don't have all the answers, and not all of these opinions "on vices" are my own. I agree with a few, of course. The universal selfishness in the DPs is something with which I totally agree. I see it in every single one of them. I'll own that one. But the other vices were brought up द्वारा other DP club users; other people who were also thinking critically about what they saw.
Selfishness: Belle, like Ariel, is one of those characters that is so ingrained into what आप would "define" as a डिज़्नी Princess, that it would be hard to envision the DP line without her. Belle and Ariel serve as bookends to each other, so to speak. One is a rambunctious, thrill-seeking female, thirsty for excitement and brimming with enthusiasm, who is ready to not prejudge others until she sees for herself; the other is a restrained, introverted female, who is seeking adventure in a और stately fashion, on her own terms, with considerably और meekness, and who does have a tendency to prejudge others before growing out of that bad habit.
I'd say Belle has her vices. Selfishness is one of them. From the first moment we see her on the road to town, blissfully लॉस्ट in her own private self-absorption, we acknowledge that Belle may not brazenly exhibit her selfishness, but it is there in the slightly haughty language she uses to describe the setting and the people with whom she has to interact on a daily basis. Belle:] Little town/ It's a quiet village/Ev'ry day/Like the one before/Little town/Full of little people/Waking up to say:" (You all know this famous song, and this reply: Bonjour!")
The सेकंड stanza expounds on Belle's irritation with her lot in life, and her selfish attitude towards mundane activities, while she is waiting for something exciting to happen to her. [Belle:] There goes the baker with his tray, like always/ The same old रोटी and rolls to sell/Ev'ry morning just the same/Since the morning that we came/To this poor provincial town." Hmm. "Poor provincial town" seems slightly biased language, here, and there is a sense that Belle considers herself removed from the people she meets. Part of this, is indeed due to the fact that the townspeople think that she is "odd." Belle makes frequent trips out to the book खरीडिए and nowhere else. People will watch/monitor your activities even when it is none of their business, thank आप very much. So Belle finds being judged द्वारा the townspeople to be vastly irritating, and her own selfishness for wanting a place where she is appreciated, crops up as her judgment of the baker's activities: "same old रोटी and rolls."
After being दिया the book she loves to death from the bookseller, Belle continues with touting her enthusiasm for finding a place where her interests aren't unappreciated. Belle:] Oh, isn't this amazing?/It's my fav'rite part because you'll see/Here's where she meets Prince Charming
But she won't discover that it's him 'til chapter three!!!!!!" This is a most refreshing part of the song for me, because Belle stops passing judgment for a moment, and just revels in her प्यार of reading. However, the last line Belle sings in this song carries the same tinge of anger she reserves for being rejected द्वारा others. Up crops her selfish “label” for the lives of those that will not/cannot understand her. [Belle:] There must be और than this provincial life!" Provincial life means a life that is unsophisticated and lacking in "oomph." A life where everyone is narrow-minded--- which implies, here, that Belle considers herself not as narrow-minded and unsophisticated, while the townspeople appear to be that way (to her, at least). Wow, Belle. That's both selfish and judgmental. Just a tad.
Now, I could say that Belle's selfishness here, coupled with her judgment of the townspeople, is a most clever way that Howard Ashman could provide both exposition, and a deep glimpse into Belle's character (and that of the villain's, haha). This would be true on all counts. It's amazing to me how much we learn about Belle from just a few stanzas in a song! (May Ashman rest in peace. He was one of the best डिज़्नी lyricists, and very few डिज़्नी lyricists have matched his skill since).
A Tendency to Prejudge Others: As I was mentioning before, Belle is touted for being able to see past people's shortcomings in the डिज़्नी lineup, but she certainly didn't start off that way! In the beginning, there is this side of her that is ready to judge people rather quickly. The townspeople are one group. Belle tells Gaston that, "I just don't deserve you! But thanks for asking!" which always cracks me up. This is also illustrative of her tendency to judge people. Belle also judges the Beast on his looks the first time she sees him in the dungeon. At least, over time, Belle overcomes this rather bad habit. It seems not only the Beast had something to learn....
Stubbornness: Not to be annoying, but from Ariel onwards, each डिज़्नी Princess has a stubborn streak in them. I mean, starting from the Renaissance DPs and continuing all throughout the Moderns, each girl displays stubbornness. I can’t call this a universal quality, because it does not appear among the Classics girls’ vices, but it does turn up as a vice in everybody else.
In Belle’s case, she flatly refuses Gaston’s advances ( har, har), and she flatly refuses to have रात का खाना with the Beast on the first night they meet--- despite the talking wardrobe’s anxious wheedling, and the urging of some other characters. Do I blame Belle for this stubbornness? No, I hardly do. But it is fair to point it out, just as it was pointed out in Ariel.
Curiosity: Belle, like her predecessors Aurora and Ariel, displays the curiosity trait. I implied, before, that both Aurora's curiosity and Ariel's curiosity were manipulated द्वारा their evil elders. The evil elders, और hardcore and wizened to the way the world is cutthroat, used the girls' curiosity to hypnotize one, and to steal the voice from the other. Belle is different, here, in that her curiosity is expressed but does not get manipulated द्वारा an elder figure. When Belle takes off for the West Wing of the Beast's castle, no one is lying in wait with evil magic meant to ensnare her. Belle just follows her own curiosity on a whim, plain and simple.
Nosiness: This vice is tied in with Belle's curiosity. We would not even know Belle was a "nosy person" if the Beast had not warned her against venturing into the West Wing. Heck, even Lumiere and Cogsworth echo this warning making it further explicit. Belle is not to be up there. But Belle goes anyway. It's not that Belle is stupid at all, but she's curious. And this action proves to me at least, that she is a nosy person.
Never-Listening to What Anyone Tells Her: I feel like this sixth trait ties into Belle's curiosity and her nosiness. When the Beast first says that Belle can go anywhere in the गढ़, महल she wants, and then amends--- "except the West Wing!" Belle is quick to perk up with, "But what is in---?" "It's forbidden!" is the roared answer. Belle doesn't like being yelled at द्वारा people for being curious, and who would? Ariel certainly didn't like it when her father yelled at her for her curiosity. Yes, Ariel and Belle are actually और similar than at first appears....
Anyhow, Belle doesn't listen to what she is told. Belle goes up into the West Wing, and is seen meddling with the Beast's rose, until she is caught red-handed. Now, we critique Ariel STRONGLY for NEVER LISTENING to what anyone tells her. But Belle NEVER STOPS TO LISTEN to what people tell her, either--- and, since no one around the DP club has pointed this out before, I'm doing so now. I will add that Belle is also RUDE for running off in the midst of Cogsworth telling her about the पुस्तकालय in the castle. We sure enough see Belle slip away without uttering so much as a word. But we loudly decry Ariel for leaving Sebastian while he is finishing his warning song about the surface world, and we say Ariel is SO RUDE for doing that! But Belle is JUST AS RUDE, for slipping away when Cogsworth isn't done talking, either. Vices, vices, vices. Every डिज़्नी Princess has them. Sigh.
Selfishness: Oh, now here’s another princess that most people would not consider selfish from looking at just the surface. But I’m not going with just surface traits, here. I’m doing the nitty-gritty skinny on everybody. In Pocahontas’s case, she has largely grown up sheltered under the watchful eye of her father, Chief Powhatan, who has tried to chart her course for her until her coming-of-age. Pocahontas doesn’t seem to feel completely attached to the trajectory that her father has presented to her over and over again. In fact, we see Poca mumble her words when her father gives her, her mother’s old necklace, a symbol of “responsibility.” (Disney uses a lot of direct symbolism in their stories. आप can’t miss this if आप sit down and actually watch their फिल्में over and over again. They lay it on a bit thick, really).
Anyway, I’m going to go back to the idea of Poca not taking hold of “her responsibilities” as readily. In the way Poca dons the necklace, and then promptly begins to sing a half-melancholy ode to the loss of her childhood freedoms, I start to see… (you’ve guessed it) the beginnings of Poca’s selfishness arising. Poca’s selfishness is tied in with her desire to choose her own destiny, not a destiny handed to her द्वारा someone else. This is very handily done with the last stanza of the song where Poca sings, “Should I choose the smoother course?/Steady as the beating drum/Should I marry Kocoum?/ Is all my dreaming at an end?/Or do आप still wait for me, Dream Giver/ Just around the riverbend?” There आप have an encapsulated version of Poca’s selfishness tied in with her private wishes to “chart her own course.” This is not an instance where Poca is thinking of anybody else, but of her own freedom and her own desires.
Ambivalence: Poca is also one of the few princesses in the DP line who have this vice. Poca seems unable to “choose fully”--- as in-- make a firm choice, and give oneself over to the consequences of that choice. Poca hovers right around the “let’s make a choice” area. She wants her own destiny, and not the destiny her father has chosen for her, but Poca is not ACTIVELY making a decision on either one! Some find this vice especially irritating about Poca, but it does make her relatable. (Another princess who displays the “ambivalence” vice is Elsa, but we will wait until it is time to talk about her).
Lack of Common Sense: Now, this vice was brought up a number of times द्वारा several different people. I cannot say that it is not unfounded. Poca does exhibit a small amount of risk-taking, and does some senseless things. On the risk-taking side, we see Poca likes to do stunts: jumping off a cliff for one, and climbing trees and venturing extremely close to foreigners for another. But letting herself fall for a stranger to her tribe, which causes her quasi-betrothed ( Kocoum) to die, and her lover to be captured and put-to-death, is a big common sense issue. Poca could certainly see that having two men fight for her attentions would eventually result in something bad happening to both of them. But Poca’s ambivalence basically stops her from using her common sense, and being proactive. Poca is not making choices to prevent what she knows is about to occur!
Stubbornness: Again, Pocahontas displays stubbornness in her indirect refusal to assume the “mantle of responsibility” for which Powhatan has groomed her. At the beginning of the movie, Poca feels that something about it does not suit her.
Never Listening to What Anyone Tells Her: Like Ariel, Belle, and चमेली before her, this girl NEVER LISTENS to what other people tell her, either! Both Nakoma and Kokoum tell Poca to stay away from the foreigners because they’re dangerous, and because something bad could potentially happen. Poca doesn’t listen to either person. When the bad consequences come as they always do, Poca is filled with regrets, just like Ariel, Belle, and चमेली were, because she did not listen to what she was told.
Selfishness: Though this gal is a डिज़्नी cult favorite, she is full of vices of her own. We’re going to start at the चोटी, शीर्ष and work our way down. Mulan’s selfishness is harder to spot, but it is there. Mulan, like Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, and Pocahontas before her, does not feel like she “fits in” to her society. The Chinese society is quite rigid, anyhow, with a few starkly defined roles for the female individual: you’re groomed for marriage, आप get married, and then आप pop out babies, preferably male ones. Cough, cough. मूलन has at last come-of-age in this dynamic, and she is the total opposite of the desirable candidate for marriage: instead of “calm, obedient, who works fast-paced, with good-breeding, good taste, and a tiny waist”--- मूलन is easily agitated, disobedient, and is a slower than average worker. Good breeding aside ( because मूलन can’t help to whom she was born), she has the taste for being creative and not lovey-dovey. And मूलन does not have a tiny waist. She has an athletic form on a girl’s body. Tie a sash around it tight and shrink it. Oh, well. It was what her mommy gave her.
Mulan’s selfishness lies in the fact that she has “no desire” to improve the faults she knows are definitely part of her. मूलन accepts the fact that she is clumsy, and that it takes her forever to get things done.
After मूलन has impersonated a soldier and gone to war, physically shaped herself up, and लॉस्ट her non-stop clumsiness; has become obedient to following orders, and has pushed herself past her “ selfish-non-desire”--- she is a sight to behold. BUT we do know that मूलन vocally admits to her own selfishness. While deserted in the mountains after the reveal that she is a woman, मूलन has a moment of angry clarity. मूलन कहा that what she did was not only for her father, but also so that when she looked into the mirror, she would see someone who was , in her words, “worthwhile. But there’s nothing!” That was Mulan’s selfishness talking.
Laziness: In the beginning, instead of feeding the chickens the normal way, which मूलन knew would take her longer to do than usual, she rigs up her pet dog to do the deed for her. Creative, yes, but also lazy.
Cheating: लेखन notes on your arms in ink that could possibly smear is not a bright idea. Neither is cheating on an oral exam. मूलन can’t seem to memorize Chinese proverbs for the life of her. Well, the fact that she has a hard time memorizing things is a flaw that indeed makes her relatable.
Clumsiness: This girl bumps into things, trips, falls, and breaks teacups. She desperately needs to find her center of gravity.
Tardiness: In the beginning, Mulan’s sense of timing is really screwed up, so she is late to get ready for the matchmakers. The military will not let आप be tardy. That मूलन does lose this vice is realistic! It is a credit to the military. They will beat the tardiness out of you.
Stubbornness: मूलन has this vice, too. Mulan’s stubbornness arises when she tells the messenger that her father is too sick to शामिल होइए the army. It’s there when her father tells मूलन that she should “know her place,” and her response is to don his armor and run away. Mulan’s stubbornness is also on display when Li Shang tells her to, “ Go home. You’re though!” Mulan’s shoulders sag, but her stubbornness won’t let her leave. मूलन stubbornly finds a way to climb that pole. She retrieves that arrow.
Never Listening to What Anyone Tells Her: Like Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, and Pocahontas before her, मूलन NEVER LISTENS to what people tell her. Her father tells her to assume her female role and to know her place in Chinese society. मूलन does not listen to him. मूलन listens to Mushu only sometimes. और often than not, she doesn’t listen to Mushu. She certainly doesn’t listen to Mushu about taking a naked bath in a camp full of males! Ha,ha,ha मूलन likewise doesn’t listen to Shang about leaving the army, and she does not listen to Shang, Mushu, या any of her comrades when she snatches the last तोप and fires at the mountain causing an avalanche.
Risk-Taking: Mulan, like Ariel and Pocahontas before her, takes a lot of risks. मूलन has a tactical and clever mind, and her risks are calculated ones, but मूलन does take a lot of risks, all the same. In the DP lineup, मूलन is the one princess who is most well-known for taking strategic risks. Some people find मूलन relatable for that, and some do not. It’s worth mentioning that the risk-taking is in other princesses besides मूलन and the Renaissance girls. Risk-taking is seen in some of the Modern ones as well.
अगला time we will delve into the vices of the Modern girls, so stay tuned. (I hope you’ll be back अगला time…eek). Thanks for पढ़ना guys. Sorry, I know it was lengthy. Please don’t forget to discuss and टिप्पणी दे below. See आप अगला time!