Author Archives: cross4

Nothing Is As It Always Seems

Fairy Godmothers, like in Cinderella, are seen as kind both inside and out. They want to make your dreams come true so that you can live a happier life. Prachett takes a whole new spin on his fairy godmother in the novel. He makes the fairy godmother out to be the villain. Lilith, also known as Lily Weatherwax, plays the villain fairy godmother. The White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia is like Lilith because she wants to make a happy ending out of what she wants and will do anything in her power to get it accomplished.

The White Witch and Lilith compare in many ways. They use their power of deceptiveness to their advantage. Lilth acts all nice and sweet but underneath all that she is really trying to make everyone else around her miserable. She turns drunken “naughty” men into horses and mice because she doesn’t approve of it. She goes about this by telling Ella, “You better bring in those naughty men who let themselves get so drunk. That’s not respectful. And if you haven’t go respect, you haven’t gotten anything” (Prachett 249). The White Witch in parallel turns people that she doesn’t approve of into stone and keeps them all in her castle for eternity. Another parallel is how Lilth tracts everyone by looking at them through reflections by keeping a close eye on them while the White Witch has spies set out through all of Narnia such as trees, woodland creatures, and other dark creatures that are on her side. They do this because they are trying to stop anyone from getting in the way of their power. The people in their kingdom don’t really even like them but like in most cases people are too scared to stand up for themselves so they keep quiet because they are scared of the consequences.

The White Witch causes a Hundred Year Winter while Lilth is living her life through stories and that is how she is trying to take over and become all powerful. They are both very powerful people in the novels but they both end up failing in their tasks to of actually being all-powerful. The White Witch ends up being defeated by Aslan in the Great War that ended her reign and Lilth is placed in a place with endless mirrors trying to find her true self but she is unable to complete that task. Unlike normal fairytales, the fairy godmother is seen in a bad light and punished for all eternity for her bad actions in trying to find her form of happiness through stories.

All you need is a little bit of Pixie Dust

Dust is also known as the Northern Lights. It is said to be a composition of storms that are charged particles and solar rays that have very extraordinary strength that cause a luminous radiation when they come into contact with the atmosphere. They give off the colors pale green and rose with a hint of crimson. Many people don’t know what it is and fear with while others are intrigued by it and try to figure out what it is; these people are called Dust Hunters. The dust is said to affect more adults than it does children and it starts to affect the person once they hit adolescence. Last class, we discussed the reason that it might not affect children is because they still have their own light of innocence and then it gets taken away when you grow up and start going through adolescence. Reading through the book, Lord Asriel explains to Lyra what Dust actually is. He explains dust as it being what is real in the world and everything around us. Children are way too young to understand what that means because they still have their innocence and don’t think anything bad can happen so they don’t have a full grasp on the world. Adults, on the other hand, know what it going on in the world and understand it so they can fall into temptation to do things that are wrong. They believe that it will cause more bad than good and want to get rid of it because it causes too much of a problem in humans. He parallels this by telling her the story of Adam and Eve and how dust is another name for original sin. Original sin was the fall of Adam and Eve when they listened to the serpent and ate from the Tree of Life. They gained knowledge of all around them and that caused their downfall to be kicked out of Paradise. The General Oblation Board is a board that is run by the people who are considered Gobblers and the head of it is Mrs. Coulter. In this board people steal children in order to cut their daemons because they believe that they free them of original sin. It is also known as an incision. The Catholic Church does this also to people who believe in Catholicism and give them a very special ceremony called Baptism. During Baptism, the child is assigned godparents who say their vows for them and promise that the child will keep said vows and they are bathed in holy water and stripped away from original sin that is given to them naturally because of Adam and Eve. When they are stripped away of this sin they are able to join God in heaven when it is time for them to leave earth. The same exact thing happens with the daemons, once they are cut from you, you are able to go into another world. At the end, Lord Asriel asks Lyra to come with him to the other world when he cuts Roger’s daemon. Lyra refuses and instead goes off to find the source of Dust.

Bilbo’s Heart of Gold

Greed becomes a dominant trait in the dwarves when they nominate Bilbo to and become a burglar to steal treasure from the dragon Smaug. Bilbo gladly accepts the challenge and slips on his ring to go into the dragon’s lair. Bilbo’s accepting of this offer shows that he is taking the initiative to show off his newfound characteristics that he has gained from being on this journey with the dwarves. He has gained the ability to be courageous, clever, and heroic. He shows to be courageous when he goes to the dragon and succeeds in taking a golden cup. Normally, Bilbo would not have normally done something like this and would have been too afraid to even consider being the burglar.  He then goes back into the lair one more time to try his luck and take more things from the dragon. He slips on his ring and the dragon knows that he is there because he can smell him. Bilbo then uses his cunning and clever tactics to keep the dragon from killing him by answering the dragon in riddles. From the riddles that Bilbo says to the dragon, the dragon figures out that Bilbo and the dwarves are linked to the men of Lake Town. The outcome of this is the dragon dying because he goes down to kill the men of Lake Town to protect his treasures and it ends up backfiring on his part. The dwarves then regained the “lost gold” and become overwhelmed with greed that it almost sparks a war between the three races: dwarves, elves, and men. Bilbo saw this as a horrible thing because he wanted to help the dwarves in the purpose of regaining their gold from the dragon but instead it sparked conflict between the races and Bilbo didn’t see that as right so he stepped in and took action. He ended up settling peace throughout the races without a fight by giving everyone a fair share of the wealth that they could all agree on.  Thorin received the Arkenstone while the rest received their fair share of the gold. Bilbo was brave and courageous in his act because he was going against his own company to try and settle peace and it worked in his favor. Everyone was at peace again and all was right in Middle Earth.

 

Prepare to Die

In both, Perrault’s “Bluebeard” and Grimm’s “ Fitcher’s Bird”, the heroines of the tale both proved to be clever and fast on their feet when it came to making their own decisions about getting out of a problem that they originally created. Perrault’s “Bluebeard” showed a woman who was curious to see what she would find in a forbidden room that she was not allowed to enter without facing an unknowingly horrifying punishment. When her husband left her for urgent business he gave her strict directions that she could throw parties, take guests out to the other houses in the country, and go into any room that she desired except for the room on the lower level all the way down the hall. He told if he ever found out that she even cracked open the door to see what was inside that there would be a horrible punishment to follow. This same plot was seen in “Fitcher’s Bird” when the man leaves the girl in the house and not only gives her a key but also an egg to carry around with her and to not damage it. The only difference is that there are three girls in this tale instead of one where in the end the last girl ends up being the heroine and sharing the same characteristics as the heroine in the first story. Both of these girls use their brains to think up plans to avoid the terrible fate of the death. Perrault’s heroine stalls for time in the tale by telling the blue bearded man that she needed more time before she was put to death. She calls upon her sister to see if her brothers have come yet and to tell them to hurry when she does see them. Time passes and no sign for the brothers coming is seen. Finally, the blue bearded man is so enraged that he is screaming at her to come down and she listens, but begs for more time before he kills her. He denies her request and right before he kills her, her brothers come in and save the day. The heroine in “Fitcher’s Bird” takes a different approach of finding out what happens in the forbidden room and using extra caution with the egg and key as she enters. What she finds is her sisters all chopped up into pieces and she assembles them back together and give them life. She then devices a smart plan to get rid of the evil sorcerer by getting her sisters to safety and then herself. Both the girls are seen as active heroines because they both use their heads to go out and save themselves from their horrible fate. Perrault’s heroine was smart in remembering that her brothers were coming to visit and to stall time in hopes of knowing that they would come to her rescue and kill the blue bearded man. Grimm’s heroine used her mind and clever ideas to save not only herself but her sisters as well and too also kill off the sorcerer and his whole crew. Sometimes curiosity gets the best of us and sometimes we aren’t going to be as lucky as those girls were in the stories. The both saved themselves and got out of bad situations before it was too late.