Essay on Fantasy Fiction

Submitted By JaneMaree
Words: 948
Pages: 4

How do composers of fantasy fiction comment on good and evil through symbolism in their stories?

Composers of fantasy fiction comment on good and evil through symbolism in their stories by taking an object and giving it a meaning the represents something. For example, in ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R Tolkien and Pan’s Labyrinth directed by Guillermo del Toro (2006). In these two fantasy fiction’s, there is a lot of symbolism. Some of the symbolism is hidden, these also have motifs, and themes. There is arguably a religious symbolism in both texts, and war is also symbolic of evil. Through these symbols, the audience becomes more aware of the messages in each.

In JRR Tolkien’s the hobbit there is religious symbolism. Tolkien makes most of his characters symbolise god, he relates to his cultural background, of catholicism. In every chapter there is a new character introduced and it represents god in its own way. The eagles that save Bilbo from the fire in the tree is symbolic to god. As the song from psalm believes ‘he will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you shine like the sun and hold you in the palm of his hand’. This song is exactly what the eagles (allies) did to help Bilbo and move him closer to his destination. Tolkien writes Bilbo and Gandalf represent the saviors or wise beings that save the world from evil. The Elves and dwarves are the hard feelings between the two represent sin that allows evil to continue. Symbolism is common in fantasy fiction, it is used in the movie Pan’s Labyrinth (2006).

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), also contains religious symbolism. Guillermo uses the characteristics of the bible. This movie has a faun, Pan, as a savior in the end. As the movie progressed it is hard to tell if Pan is good and evil which makes the story line interesting. Pan is sent to give Ofelia 3 tasks and see if she completes them without disobeying his orders, Pan has 3 fairies which are Ofelia’s mentor, they help her through all 3 tasks. In the pale man’s cave Ofelia gets hungry after being sent to bed without supper so she picks up 2 grapes, and the fairies try to warn her but its to late. The pale man puts his eyes in and chases after her. Pan finds out about this and says you will not return to your family after feeling betrayed. Pan is the messenger from her underworld parents, who helps her to return to her country as princess Ofelia. Symbolism is everywhere in fantasy fiction, even when you don’t notice it.

Pan’s Labyrinth directed by Guillermo del Toro symbolises fairytale in many ways, but he changes them in his own perception. Ofelia, the step daughter of captain Vidal, who married Ofelia’s mother, Carmen, after her real dad got killed in the war. In fairytales, the step mothers are always the evil ones but when Guillermo del Toro was writing Pan’s Labyrinth he made Captain Vidal the evil step father, which hadn’t been done and was a good way to say that not all step mothers are evil. Captain Vidal tells the doctor that if he has to choose between Carmen or the unborn baby to live choose the baby. This makes him seem very cruel, he only wants a son to follow in his footsteps. JRR Tolkien has a lot of symbolism in his writing.

J.R.R Tolkien, has included symbolism of war. Tolkien wrote ‘The Hobbit’ as a book for his children who as he was writing it decided