I'm sure you can tell by now that I love movies and, of course, Beauty & the Beast was my latest excursion to the cinema. Personally, I loved the movie and thought that the whole "gay moment" was blown way out of proportion. However, I also understand that this is most likely the tip of the iceberg, but that's now what I want to focus on today (not because I think it's unimportant, but because there's something else significant that I want to highlight). Instead, I want to focus on a important theme in the movie that is relevant to our society: the mob mentality.
I'm sure you're familiar with the "Kill the Beast" scene in which Gaston riles the townfolk up to storm the Beast's castle and eliminate the threat and danger (they presume) he poses. Gaston begins shouting about how the Beast will attack during the night, eat their children, all that lovely stuff. What he's saying isn't true, but no one questions anything Gaston says. He's yelling and striking fear into their minds--unnecessary fear. But because he acts like he knows exactly what he's talking about, people follow.
The east has never been a threat before-- in fact, everyone didn't even know he existed until Belle returned to town. And yet, they follow like sheep to destroy both the castle and the Beast. No one voices any sort of opposition or doubt for this extreme sort of action. But one by one they grab their torches and weapons, and they follow Gaston's lead.
I think this closely parallels our modern-day society: people often don't think for themselves. They listen to and follow whoever is talking the loudest, without actually listening to what's being said. While you don't have to constantly question every single thing that you hear, it's smart to be a critical thinker and to raise questions.
It's easy to go along with the way things are and not question why they're that way, but the mob mentality is dangerous territory to fall into, especially when no one questions an order to do something extreme. While we've developed a mindset of relativism, we've also ironically developed a pattern of conformity, as far as joining the crowd that's the biggest or the leader who's yelling the loudest.
Ultimately, draw your own conclusions because you've arrived at them, not because someone else arrived at them for you. Your conclusions are your own to make. Don't grab a torch because everyone else is. Raise questions, have a healthy dose of skepticism, don't be afraid to challenge the status quo. Use your voice and speak up when you think something isn't right. Dare yourself to deviate from the script.