I had a sudden “aha” moment when I saw a gifset of Beth in this scene:
And Beth holding the broom like that immediately made me think of Cinderella. *somewhere I hear Yvette Nicole Brown saying ‘See! She is a Disney princess’. Sigh.*
So then I thought, okay hmm do Beth and Cinderella have similarities? Yes. First one is obvious: both are held in servitude by people they supposedly have an obligation too (Cinderella’s is familial, Beth’s is because they ‘saved’ her and provided her with medical care). Next similarity, if Beth does have a fakeout death and ‘resurrection’, is Cinderella’s transformation by the fairy godmother.
Then I decided to go to Wikipedia to see if anything else struck me. Boom:
The word “Cinderella" has, by analogy, come to mean one whose attributes were unrecognized, or one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect.
If that doesn’t describe Beth I don’t know what does. Everyone but Daryl underestimates Beth!! And the entire series until now she’s been unrecognized/underestimated by the majority of the audience.
The Aarne–Thompson system classifies Cinderella as “the persecuted heroine”.
Beth, as well as the other wards, is most definitely persecuted (or mistreated) by Dawn and the cops at the hospital.
Also, in the 1998 movie “Ever After”, an adaptation of Cinderella, the heroine gets herself out of the situation she is in and when she walks out the prince is just arriving. She asks what he is doing there and he sheepishly says “I came to rescue you”. But she didn’t need rescuing because she could take care of herself! Just like our Beth.
(It also can’t be ignored that there are physical similarities. I wouldn’t use this as solid evidence by any means, but it should be noted that of all the Disney princesses, Emily probably most closely resembles Cinderella (or Elsa, but she’s so new so I’d still go with Cindy ;)) and this princess is most often depicted in her famous blue dress so this shot of Beth in her blue scrubs is part of what struck me as a picture of Cinderella.)
So, if these similarities were intentional, the question becomes: does Beth get to have her happy ending with the ‘prince’ that came to rescue her (hehe, yes Daryl would be the prince in this story)? I think so (or, at least the closest to a happy ending as one can get in the ZA!!).
As always with my little theories, I freely admit that I could be completely off. Though, I would like the opinion of swiftsnowmane because I believe fairytales and folklore are right up your alley!