The Hidden Lands of Fantasy

Writer’s Note: The following are my assignments that I submitted for a course that tends to teach how to read in between the lines of fiction and fantasy and find the hidden themes. Here are two of my reports that I had to write in between the word limit of 320/270 words. So, don’t mind if I tried to cram a lot of things in a small space but the themes were too many.

Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm

The book tells of stories of how the human soul desires power and control over all else and how that power sometimes corrupts the soul into committing horrendous deeds. Also rebellious nature is promoted in the book. Many symbols such as food, King etc are used as all of them in one way or another dictate the desire or the presence of power.

In the tales food, gold and power are the ultimate beneficiary items that must be possessed at any cost. We often see the heroes rebelling against the head figure by disobeying orders of parents, kings etc which always ends up in a good end. Head figures are often described as evil, negligent and selfish with step relations being the cruelest of them all. [Ref: Snow White etc.] Often children find themselves either trying to fulfill their parents dreams or becoming the sacrifice for their desires. Relations such as of brothers etc is somewhat strange as out of all the siblings one is good while the other represents evil.

There are also many hidden symbols for the want of sex and sexual tensions between different relations, many times animals e.g. wolves are used to describe the hidden sexual tension between the villain and the hero of the story. [Ref: Wolves and the seven Children, Little Red Cap etc.] In many tales, sex is categorized even over basic necessities. Physical attraction is often deemed as love in the stories, perhaps to portray the superfacialness of the society. Marriages in many stories are promoted to be more about gaining power or material gains. This may be a hint on the fact that sexual desires can be manipulated to gain power.

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Caroll underlays many complicated themes in his book but the one I found most vixing was the reference to aging of a child and how they must tread on a path of self discovery through curiosity. It also gives a strong reference to how set in the laws of the world adults have become.

We see that as soon as Alice falls through the hole, she is taken into a strange world where she can change her size by eating cakes or drinking potions. The changing of the size is a clear reference to aging of a person. We see that Alice must find herself as she grows in size and she starts comparing herself with her classmates. This is the process hinted towards the fact that as we grow older we must all try to find ourselves and our own identity and how we fail to do so by comparing our ownselves with each other. “But if I’m not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, THAT’S the great puzzle!”

We further develop this notion of aging as we see Alice dealing with a world of grown ups set in their laws and how they abide by those laws without daring to ask, “Why?” This leads to the erratic and arbitrary behavior Alice faces in wonderland and in the looking glass. Prime example is of the crazy rules made by the king as “All people that are a mile high must leave the courtroom!” The process of Alice maturing can be seen as she learns how to deal with the crazy world.

In through the looking glass, the process of growing up can be seen through the change of size the chess board and peices. Also Caroll directs our attention towards how Alice is maturing when Humpty Dumpty tells her that, she should had “left off at seven”.





16 Responses to “The Hidden Lands of Fantasy”

  1. Time for my mean comment.
    Here I go: “You are Boring.” But then you do manage to say a wise line somtimes. Such as “Physical attraction is often deemed as love in the stories,” This makes me wonder, if that’s not love what is it then. To feel something for a totally ugly person. Such as an ogre. Here they can’t claim it was physical attraction or something mistaken as love

    • Lol seriously you should take lessons in being mean =P and love and happy endings only exist in stories so there’s that as well

      • why , am I not too tough a mean person yet as per by your high standards of mean-li-ness. Oh I mean, eccentric thing.

  2. Lol, sorry if I seem rude to you… but you gotta do what you have to survive

  3. Yes, fairy tales, stories, fables, and poetry are rife with imagery, hidden meanings, and the like. Yes, there are lots of sick twisted things in some of them for sure. However, to state that love only exists in stories is a rather grim outlook on life itself. Also, I am missing something in the significance of the last sentence.

  4. Gloom and doom =P lol, what it’s just how things are ;P

  5. You just ruined the innocence of all fairy tales…

  6. a scientist doing literature.. n well all of 14 comments.. but only by three readers.. what a—-

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