Author Archives: tlopez2

Charlie a hero or just Lucky?

Charlie in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a small boy that is terribly poor.  His whole journey in Willie Wonka’s world begins when his Grandpa Joe tells him stories about Wonka.  After some days Charlie and his family hear news that the Wonka factory will be opened to only five kids and their guardians. It was all luck that Charlie found the dollar that bought him the chocolate with the golden ticket.  Charlie’s competitors all had vices.  They were all spoiled children and Dahl made them “bad”.  Charlie was poor and had nothing.  This made him modest to everything given to him.  Thorough out the book Charlie didn’t do anything.  With that it can be said that since he didn’t do anything, he was doing something.  He wasn’t making a scene to get what he wanted.. The only thing he wanted was to experience this opportunity with his grandfather, and they were already doing that.  Charlie is a hero to two different situations. Charlie is a hero to Willie Wonka. The whole reason why Wonka sent out the tickets was to find a successor to his chocolate factory.  Wonka wanted a child to be the next to run his factory so that he could teach the child all his secrets and when his successor has grown up, he still has the mind of a child.  Because he was so modest and has no vices, Charlie would not be corrupted later on in life.  He wouldn’t sell the company just for the money, he wouldn’t be distracted, or he wouldn’t abuse the power he was given.  Charlie would be like Wonka if not better for the factory.  Charlie was also a hero to his family.  Mr. Bucket, Charlie’s father, had just lost his job and was making less money than before.  The family was struggling more than they were before.  When Charlie came home with the golden ticket it was like a miracle.  We then see the family again when Wonka crashes into the house with Grandpa Joe and Charlie, into the Buckets home.  They were giving the family the good news that they were no longer going to be poor.  Charlie was a hero to Wonka and the Buckets, but the whole things started with a bit of luck.

Is Good the new look for Evil?

Goodness is used to hide the underlying purpose of the user.  While Lyra was living in Jordan College, she was surrounded by men.  Most of those men were elderly and had other things to do than worry about a little girl.  When Ms. Coulter came to the College, she took a specific interest in Lyra. When speaking to Ms. Coulter Lyra told her everything important to her in her life.  Lyra couldn’t believe that a woman this beautiful and important was interested in what she had to say.  Once in London, they spent their time dinning, shopping, and meeting new people.  Ms. Coulter was even giving Lyra spending money of her own.  She would tell her that their adventures in the north would be spectacular, and she would give her motherly attention that Lyra was missing back in Oxford.  Ms. Coulter was giving Lyra everything she wanted but not without something in return.  The White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia did the same thing with Edmond.  She was a gracious hostess and gave him warm drink and plenty of Turkish Delights, promising him that one day he would be king.  But there was a catch, she needed him to bring his siblings to her.  Later in the book we see that her intentions were for Evil not for good.  Ms. Coulter wanted the Golden Compass that she need to find the dust.  Lyra was told not to give this compass to Ms. Coulter by the Master that tried to kill her uncle in the first place.  We see here the confusion of each characters role in good and evil.  Lyra finally understands what Ms. Coulter is up to when a Scholar mentions that she is in charge of the Oblation Board.  It is then that Lyra finds out that the Oblation Board are the “Gobblers” that are taking the children without reason.  Lord Boreal is the one that clarifies why they use Ms. Coulter and why Lyra is with her as if she was a Daemon.  He says, ” …What’s done is for their good as well as our.  And of course they all come to Ms. Coulter willing.  That’s why she’s so valuable.  They must want to take part, and what child could resist her?  And if she’s going to use you to bring them in, so much the better.  I’m very pleased” (Pullman 84).  Lord Boreal shows us that because Ms. Coulter looks so pleasant, the children come to her willingly.  And now that she has a child with her at all times, people won’t suspect that she is the one behind all the disappearances.  So far we see Pullman use women as pretentious, lets see how these characters grow by the end of the book.

Courage Comes From Within…With the Help of A Few Things

In the beginning of the book, we are introduced to a family that is made up of adventurers, the Took’s, and the homebodies, the Bagginses.  We then meet their son Bilbo Baggins a hobbit who is about 50 years old.  Bilbo has an interaction with Gandalf, a famous wizard, and finds out that Gandalf has an adventure for him.  Being the son of his father, he too was a homebody and was very comfortable being where he was.  Without completely agreeing, Bilbo is taken to be in this adventure.  He is given the job of the “burglar”, so he takes things that will in the end help their group succeed with they adventure.  Bilbo is hesitant but he knows his manners, so when he is asked or told t do something he does it.  He never says stands up for himself  and he doesn’t even notice he does what he is told like he does here, “To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out;…” (Tolkien 34).  As Bilbo does he does what he is told.  Since he was told that he was to be burglar, he proceeds to do so when the group finds a group of trolls.  Bilbo tries to take one of their purses but ends up making too much noise.  The others hear and end up bring tied up by the trolls.  By luck Gandalf saves them by imitating the voices of the trolls.  We see throughout the book that all the success that Bilbo is having is through luck.  When they encounter the goblins, Bilbo happens to yell loud enough for Gandalf to hear them and then swoop in and save the day.  Although most of his heroic success is by luck or destiny, he makes it all up when he ends up fighting and killing the spiders that is about to eat him.  After killing the spider, Bilbo names his sword which is a n important symbols of courage and heroism. The ring that he found is also helping him out.  Bilbo starts to discover what the ring can do and by doing so he is able to help the others without being killed himself.   He starts to develop a sort of confidence that will help him throughout the rest of the book and succeed with his mission.

Maybe Everyone Should Marry a Beast to Find Happiness

In the story of The Pig King and in Beauty and the Beast both princes were turned into beast by magic.  In The Pig King, the queen is given the gift of having a child, but the gift comes with the consequence of the prince being a pig. The beast became a monster by an evil witch that put a spell upon him, his intelligence, and his kingdom.  The two beasts have to find true love to break through the spell.  The pig has a more grotesque mission; he has to sleep with his wife three times before he become man again.  It’s interesting that these stories use anthropomorphic animals to substitute men.  Maria Tatar compares these stories to arranged marriages that men and women we’re sucked into by their parents.  The usual story tells us a about a misfortune parent that need the wealth, so they trade their daughter in marriage to a “beast” of a man for their own happiness.  Although this seems horrible, the parents or the one asking the persons hand in marriage does give them the chance and choice to say no.  In the end of the stories they seem to live happily ever after.  This gave people hope about their own marriages, and that even though the person they are with might seem like a “beast”, they might change with a little time and patience.  Although both stories do help to ease arranged marriages, The Pig Kinghas both education and entertainment. For entertainment Giovanni Francesco Straparola chose a pig, an animal that is used in jokes and teases.  The wife has to have sex with the pig, which is completely grotesque, and she is perfectly content doing this.  It is educational in the sense that the mother did give birth to a pig, but she still loved him like a mother should love a child.  She doesn’t ignore him or even execute him, like the king wanted.  Again the same lesson with both of the wives is not to judge a book by its cover.  In The Pig King, the two sisters before only sought to marry him for his fortune, while Meldina got to know the prince and thought him to be a good person.  This also goes with Beauty and the Beast, where Beauty got to know beast as a person not the monster everyone saw him as.  This helps both princes in the end, because this is the factor that helped both women care for the beasts.  Both stories have that education moral, of looking beyond the outside and look deeper into a person, but Beauty and the Beast shows that throughout the whole story.  We can see that it is more of an educational story than The Pig King , it shows how greedy someone can be compared to someone so humble and selfless.  These stories have something in common, that is that, we have to look beyond the outside and look deeper to find the happiness that we are looking for.