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The Princess Story

Modeling the Feminine in Twentieth-Century American Fiction and Film

Series:

Sarah Rothschild

What is a princess story? In this subgenre, newly defined in The Princess Story, the protagonist either is a princess or is attempting to become one: the girl transforms into or identifies herself as a princess through marriage or through discovered identity, or both. Princess lessons often accompany this transformation, lessons that not only educate the fictional girl but also the reader.
Cultural expectations and anxieties about the roles of girls and women are transmitted through princess stories, and the dialogic nature of feminism and patriarchy, forces for progress and forces for tradition, can be explored through their study. In this book, feminism and progress are embodied by the first, second, and third wave of feminist princess stories; patriarchy and tradition are represented by Disney Studios’ princess stories. All of these stories influenced their readers, some of whom grew up to write their own princess stories, stories that reflected and – they hoped – furthered their ideological goals. Princess stories of the early 2000s are compelling in that they tensely balance romance and feminist assumptions.
Anyone interested in folklore studies, feminist studies, children’s literature, Disney studies, film adaptations, psychology, sociology, or theories of child development will find The Princess Story: Modeling the Feminine in Twentieth-Century American Fiction and Film essential reading. When contemplating the changes made by feminists to American culture, no one figure is as worth examining as the fictional princess, and no book has yet approached the topic as thoroughly as this one.

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Index 259

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™ INDEX ™ A Action princesses, 213 Addie. See Princess Addie Adolescent school girls, study, 126 Aladdin (film), 54 Alcott, Louisa May, 17 Ali Baba, story, 46 All the King’s Horses (Foreman), 131– 132 American culture, changes, 13 American girls, princess life (contrast), 129 American middle-class heterosexual courtship, stories, 61 Anderson, Hans Christian, 147 Andrews, Julie, 215 Ani. See Princess Ani Anne, Crewe (relationships), 30 Anthony, Susan B., 99 Anti-couple villains, 83–84 Anti-female witticisms, 157–160 Appearance, value (denial), 33 Archetypes, audience encouragement, 9 Ariel descriptions, 137 desire, 153 husband attraction, 140–141 Atalanta feminism, issues, 201 focus, 110 Free to be...You and Me version, 109–110 story version, 108–109 Young John beliefs, impact, 110–111 relationship, problem, 111 Aurora. See Princess Aurora Aurore confinement, 176–177 marriage, inability, 194–195 Autobiography, stories (problem), 5 B Bacchilega, Christina, 13 Baker, E.D., 172 Barbie dolls, Princess Aurora (relationship), 73 Barchers, Suzanne, 95 Baumgardner, Jennifer, 12, 170, 206 Beauty cultural standards, upholding, 74 importance, 175–176 discussion, 201–202 paragon, 136 privileges, 201–202 Beauty and the Beast (film), 2, 54 back-story, 143 Belle, introduction, 138 direct-to-video sequels, 160–162 Disney formula, adherence, 150–151 father, introduction, 145–146 women, paucity, 148 Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (film), 160–161 Beauty and the Beast (story), feminist- friendly protagonists, 12 The Princess Story 260 Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” 176–177 marriage, inability, 194–195 Becky Anne, relationship, 44 character, usage, 45 Crewe friend, 27, 30 princess, playing (encouragement)...

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