Seeing ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’

by Sigmund/Unsplash

Grown-ups have more power than children in making many decisions — like where to live — and some grown-ups have a great deal of power — like a captain in the military — but a child can have the power to conjure fantastical creatures and talk with them, creatures inspired by the fairy tales she loves to read: printed words peel off pages then flit around then transform into a faun, greedy toad, monster with eyes on his hands, which caused me to wonder why the girl would imagine such creatures and not an array of friendly ones (graceful unicorn and teasing, loving wood sprites), but then I realized she is following the pattern of fairy tales, which don’t describe kids floating on ice-cream clouds of easy lives, but who need to face nasty witches and trolls — so the girl would create similar tests for herself, offering the chance to become the brave heroine who deals with nasty creatures by besting them or eluding them.


copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

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