i thought about this a lot last night, but one of my favorite parts of the new movie was belle asking everyone why they all cared for adam so much and mrs. potts responding, “We’ve looked after him all his life.”
i really think there’s more to that than is suggested.
after adam’s mother died, he really didn’t have anybody to care for him. his father was never one to really provide any sort of love or affection. so i can totally imagine a young adam running to some of the staff members at times after his mother’s passing. they were probably some of the only ones to offer him any sort of sympathy. but, of course, his father would pull him away, saying it was improper to socialize with those below him.
which is where everything went wrong.
i have no doubts that they really did care for him for a time until his father had had enough and rarely even allowed adam to speak to them directly. he’d tell adam that they were just staff and no prince should be associated with them. and, after a time, this became adam’s belief as well, which is why he turned into almost a carbon copy of his father.
with the lack of affection and the inability to speak with those that actually cared for him, he became exactly what his father wanted him to be.
further on this, i truly think that adam saw them as his family eventually. especially after they were all cursed. he definitely recognized that they were the ones trying to help and console him. even after he was the reason they were cursed in the first place, even through all his rage-driven outbursts, they still did all they could for him.
mrs. potts, lumiere, cogsworth, plumette–they were all he had.
but–and this is my favorite part–he definitely tried to distance himself from them. he tried to convince himself that he didn’t care as much as he truly did. because once he lost hope of the curse ever being lifted, he knew that they would all be cursed forever. but while he would continue living, they would become inanimate objects. and i can’t tell you how guilty he would be.
so, in distancing himself (to a point), he figured it would hurt less when they were all inevitably cursed.