Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spirited Away--What's in a name?

In Spirited Away, we experience a wondrous world with many peculiar occurrences. One particular item I found interesting was Yubaba’s ability to completely control her servants by taking their names. These transactions got me thinking—what’s in a name and how do our respective names relate to our individual identities?

Now, through watching the movie, I believe that in addition to taking the names of servants, Yubaba begins to take the memories associated with those names but the essence of identity remains. For instance, Haku has nearly no recollection of his previous life yet when he interacts with Chihiro, he has the faintest feeling that he knows her, though when and how no memory remains. I believe this speaks to identity’s will to endure. Although our memories of personal identity can fade or stolen in the case of Haku, our essence remains, only to be awaken by the sensory experiences that were not part of our “core” memory--that which is believed lost.

1 comment:

  1. I think you make a very interesting point about one of the most important elements in Spirited Away. Personal identity is engrained in children very early in life but the trials of growing up often threaten the survival of that identity. Though in reality, children are not plagued by monsters or magical spirits, they are haunted by bullies, peer pressure and the everyday challenges of becoming their own people while still maintaining that “core” element that you mentioned. Spirited Away is in fact a coming of age story, only with more excitement than the traditional and more realistic tales.