Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast Questions and Answers
by Robin McKinley

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What is the moral of Beauty, and what is some evidence that supports that moral?

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The novel Beauty is a retelling of the story of "Beauty and the Beast," essentially giving the young woman (now named "Beauty" after she refuses the name "Honour") a larger backstory. She is envious of her sisters due to their beauty and marriages.

The moral of the story seems to be that honor and love are the truest aspects of beauty. To make this point, the author has Beauty remain plain after she refuses her virtuous name, while her sisters, Grace and Hope, grow into beautiful young women. At the same time, she becomes beautiful through her displays of love and honor to others. Her jealousy at her sisters' situations ends when she realizes that her sister may lose her true love because she believes him dead and would go on to marry another. Beauty goes to warn her sister instead of remaining jealous. At the same time, she loves the Beast for himself, not for his beauty, and she realizes that it is useless to care about outward appearances. In the end, as she shows more and more honor and love, her countenance changes—just as the Beast does when his curse is broken. They are both transformed by their love.

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