Beauty and the Beast in Twenty-First Century Thai Romantic Fictions: Characters and Motifs


Beauty and the Beast has always been a well-known and popular tale throughout the world, regardless of race, class, or ethnicity. Such enjoyment for a story unites people to remember cultural relocation and acknowledge cultural differences as source of pleasure. Beauty and the Beast’s plot and motifs have great influence on Thai romantic fiction and are appropriated and contextualized to correspond with the Thai context. Thus, this paper seeks to analyze the Twenty-First Century Thai romantic fictions to explore how they are adapted, retold and reinterpreted to the Thai cultural context regarding to religious, social beliefs and gender relations. It also seeks to examine the motifs of transformation and marriage test of a couple and how they are different from the original version and contemporary Western versions. This textual analysis investigates two Thai romantic fictions written in the Twenty-First Century to discover how they are adapted to fit in the Thai context with a focus on characterization and motifs. It has found that the portrayal of female protagonists is adjusted to be more modern, especially in a public sphere, while still embodying the essence of Thai femininity. The portrayal of male protagonists, especially the appearance, is adapted to fit Thai religious beliefs; thus, beastliness is simply symbolic. Significantly, cultural contexts take part in reshaping the transformation of the protagonists and their marriage tests. Additionally, this intertextuality helps acknowledge how romantic relations and practices have been changed through time and culture.

Author Information
Sasinee Khuankaew, Chiang Mai University, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2019
Stream: South-East Asian Studies (including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)

This paper is part of the ACAS2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon