Friday, January 28, 2011

On becoming an adult

Throughout the “Spirited Away”, Chihiro’s character really reminded me of Alice in “Alice In Wonderland.” Both of their journeys represent a loss of childhood innocence in reaching adulthood, but in different contexts. To me, Alice’s journey represented the more physical aspects of maturation, such as the awkwardness and frustration teens experience during puberty, as she is always the wrong size in any situation throughout the story. Chihiro’s experiences, however, dealt with the increased responsibility one is faced when reaching adulthood. As a senior facing graduation in may, this was the part of the film to which I could relate to the most. Chihiro’s entrance into the working world, similar to many, was a major and shocking transition. She immediately learns that in her new world, idleness is not an option. This stark transition is really seen as her name is changed to Sen and she begins to work at the bathhouse. Taking her name away from her and, in a way, losing touch with her former self makes me wonder exactly what Miyazaki is trying to say about the transition from childhood to maturation. She tries so hard to keep her old name at the top of her mind and to never forget it. Could he be suggesting that even while an adult dealing with the harsh realities of the working world, we should all try to keep in touch with a piece of our childhood selves?


  1. I think that you bring up a very interesting point when mentioning that Miyazaki suggests that one should keep in touch of our childhood selves. I have to agree that he is implying this message as the childhood is such an important aspect to the development of an individual and the experiences early on in life can mold an individual to who they are once they mature. I also think that he makes a point as to showing the difficulties that arise once an individual enters the working world. Though many do not have to endure the extreme work environment that Chihiro does right off the bat, there is definitely a transition period that many people struggle to deal with when they are adjusting to the changes in their life.

  2. In addition to the resemblance of Spirited Away to Alice in Wonderland, it also seems really similar to Pan's Labyrinth, which we are still watching in class. All of the movies deal with a little girl who is thrusted upon a fantasy world full of weird creatures, magical entities, and specific adventures. It seems as if Pan's Labyrinth is more like Alice in Wonderland, as in the recent Alice movie that came out in 2010, Alice was supposedly in Wonderland as a child and was meant to always "come back" to overthrow the evil queen. Likewise, Ofelia actually grew up and was a princess of the underworld, always destined to return to her father. Each Alice and Ofelia both have specific tasks they must complete in order to save Wonderland and save their loved ones from harm. Also, I think it is interesting to note the time lag between reality and Wonderland/Amusement Park. In Alice in Wonderland it seemed only a short while passed while Alice was there many days to defeat the queen and in Spirited Away, they never tell us how long Chiciro was in the amusement park but everything looks the same in the end, except for all the dust in the car so it must have been a long time (or a couple days).