Author Archives: silviaob

Human and or Oompa- Loompa

             Oompa Loompas are dehumanized in this story in many different ways. We are first “introduced” to them in the form of shadows without a clear introduction. When they are introduced on page 68 the words Mr. Wonka uses are belittling: “Imported directly from Loompaland” and “I found the little Oompa- Loompas living in tree houses” (69). Imported is a word used to describe the arrival a good, an inanimate object, he also suggests that he “found” them and describes them as “little” and “tiny”. When Mr. Wonka begins to tell about the history of the workers he shares that they are from Loompaland and Mrs. Salt, a geography teacher, claims that there is no such place; this adds to the dehumanization of the Oompa- Loompas because it is implying that they come from no real place, no real country, or a real background. The Oompa – Loompas are only seen as a group/tribe, there is no individuality besides the leader which is only known as “the Oompa – Loompa leader”. They are described to be savage yet helpless even as a group: “they were living on green caterpillars” (69). Mr. Wonka thinks he has saved them from what they could have become, they seem incapable of leading a “happy” life without his aid.

On page 71 Veruca shouts at her dad and nags him to get her an Oompa- Loompa: “I want to take it home with me! Go on, Daddy! Get me and Oompa- Loompa!”, Veruca thinks she can take one home as though it were an animal at a pet shop and had no will. Once she learns that she will not get an Oompa- Loompa she sets her sights on another “pet”. Mr. Wonka does not “employ” only Oompa- Loompas in his factory: “Oompa- Loompas can’t get walnuts out of walnut shells in one piece. They always break them in two. Nobody except squirrels can get walnuts whole out of walnut shells every time” (110), buy using squirrels to work and compete with the Oompa- Loompas it shows that they are on the same level as an animal. Mr. Wonka tried to use them to do the task of a squirrel. “”All right,” Veruca said, “I’ll have you!”“ talking about one of the working squirrels, she is just as easily amused and sees both Oompa- Loompas and squirrels as pets.

Aside from all the jobs that we learn the Oompa- Loompas do, we do not learn what they do in their spare time nor do we know if they have spare time. It seems like they work all day like machines or animals and serve only one purpose.

 

Paralleling Emotions

Daemons are the humans’ spirit that represent their consciousness and can feel the same emotions and physical sensations as the humans do. These daemons take on the form of any animal they desire but when each human reaches puberty the daemon can no longer shape shift and must chooses an animal that truly represents their human and remains that way forever. According to each person’s rank and status in society they are followed with the same rank by his or her daemon. If the human knows his place in society then the daemon that feels and knows what the human does also is recognized with the same rank. When a daemon or the human is disrespecting the hierarchy, then each human’s daemon puts the other daemon in its place. This is not the same with humans but because there is such a strong connection between human and daemon the consequences faced by each daemon is felt by the human.

 

For example we see proof of the immense connection when Pantalaimon is injured when the fox daemon is trying to capture him because the gobblers are after Lyra.: “But the fox daemon tore at the cat Pantalaimon and Lyra felt the pain in her own flesh, and sobbed a great cry as he fell” (91). This shows that the attachment between human and daemon goes beyond just emotional and mental. Tony’s daemon, Ratter, was ripped from his hands by the gobblers because they were separating the children from their daemons as a sort of experiment because they wanted to learn more about dust. The trauma suffered before his death not only continues to prove the unbreakable connetion between daemon and human, but also further shows how strong it really is and how one cannot survive without the other.  “He couldn’t settle, he couldn’t stay in one place; he kept asking after his daemon, where she was, was she coming soon… but he closed his eyes finally and fell still, and that was the first time he looked peaceful, for he was like any other dead person then, with their daemon gone in the course of nature” (191). Everything one feels, the other does as well, these parallel feelings make it easier for the human characters to expose their true colors in the form of their daemon while still seeming friendly and civil. Mrs. Coulter still wants to seem like Lyra’s friend and role model but when Lyra refuses to listen to her demand to put her “childish bag” away, Mrs. Coulter scolds her but her daemon physically attacks Pam. “Mrs. Coulter’s daemon sprang off the sofa in a blur of golden fur and pinned Pantalaimon to the carpet before her could move” (76). Mrs. Coulter’s daemon was punished Pam as if it were Lyra being punished.

Back in the Hobbit hole

It comes to no surprise that Bilbo Baggins constantly wishes he were home throughout the journey/adventure. It is a well known fact that “they had never had any adventure or did anything unexpected” (Tolkein 5). Hobbits were very predictable and it was not customary to go on any sort of adventure that would make them late for dinner, and any adventure worth going on would make one late for dinner. The multiple times Bilbo wishes he was home serve as a stepping stone to the growth of his inner person. It seems that during the toughest trials he longs for the comfort and eggs and bacon of his home but he is still able to overcome the obstacles. At the semi beginning of the journey when the group has to cross the Misty mountains and go through the Lonely mountains Bilbo was “thinking once again of his comfortable chair before the fire…” (Tolkein 52). In addition to being markers of turning points within Bilbo, the times he remembers home also serve as a pushing factor, as a support system in a way to keep him going. He knows that there is no turning back and all he can go is move forward with Gandolf and the thirteen other dwarves. On page 169 comes a major surprise when Bilbo saves himself from the spider. He evolved throughout the entire first part and although he may seem weak for complaining and wishing he were home, he moves right along with the rest of the group.

Inner Beaty > Outward Appearance

Both Beauty and the Beast and The King Pig focus on the importance of inner beauty not only for the beasts but more importantly for the “heroines”. If it were not for the kindness of Meldina and the genuine gratitude she felt for being considered as a candidate for the prince, the King Pig would have gone on to committing more acts of violence and vengeance. All he needed was someone to love him for who he was forced to be so that he could show who he was meant to be. Meldina’s understanding was the catalyst for the King Pig’s change; it is fair to say that he had reasons for acting in a nasty and killing his two previous wives: self defense. The way his mother spoke to him although true was harsh and hurtful. When someone is put under constant judgment he begins to build a shell. The King Pig threatened his mother because he saw that as his only escape from his beastly appearance. A very important moral in the story is to go out and look for what one wants/needs, not everything will come to you. In the Beauty and the Beast Beauty does not need to fight for anything, the natural inner beauty gives her grand opportunities to be happy. Her heart was so willing and pure that she was able to look past the terrible circumstance she was in only because she knew it needed to be done. The guilt she felt and the love that she has for her family is what pushed her. The horrid beast had a heart that matched Beauty’s which is why they were able to fall in love genuinely. Beauty says: “I like you better, even with your looks, than men who hide false, corrupt, and ungrateful hearts behind charming manners.” Outer appearance would seem to be an important aspect in these stories but the women fell in love with the true inner character and virtue each man had in him. If the men were attractive “prince charmings” but had nasty attitudes the story would take a different turn therefore I believe that the main purpose of these stories is educational. Although they do not have realistic plots; the message being conveyed in both Beauty and the Beast and King Pin can be applied to multiple situations that do not have to involve love but instead can be used as a tool to stop premature judgment on a individual which has been an important value for a very long time.