Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spirited Away

At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about this movie. I'm typically not a fan of cartoons. But after I let all the weirdness seep in, I realized that there is a lot more to the movie than spirits and strange creatures. I think this movie may ultimately be a "coming-of-age" narrative where in Jahiro transforms from a naive child to being on her way her way to adulthood. In the beginning, she barely has the courage to go with her parents through the tunnel. But after she has spent time with spirits in the bathhouse she comes out virtually fearless. I want to say that Jahiro's new name, Sen (sp?), represents her struggle with finding her own identity. Her adventure may just be a manifestation of her fears about moving to a new place. Or, they could represent her experience in that new place, wherein she rises victorious from the hardships she faces with cruel people in the real world and struggles with her own identity.

1 comment:

  1. I must agree that this film is definitely about Jahiro becoming "of age." She seems to be more logically minded than one of her age would normally be. Her parents do not set a good example for her when they heed to their ids and commit gluttonous acts by eating the un-purchased food. I believe that this movie proves to show that it's not only intelligence that children must enhance in order to "come of age", but it's also about "street smarts", and learning how to communicate with people and work hard. Jahiro is so nervous when she first meets Haku, and she speaks and screams very quickly and loudly when talking to him. Her frustrations clearly come out during her conversation with him at first, but we notice a difference in her demeanor as the movie goes on (maturity?). Also, the point that Haku makes to her about persistence in her job hunt is important because it teaches the lesson that one must not give up. It teaches perseverance, thus, also incorporating respect and maturity. Jahiro can definitely be compared to Alice in "Alice in Wonderland" because of the lessons she learns about growing up and facing her fears while also learning to be independent and fight for what she believes in (much as Jahiro has to). Too, I think that the different spirits and characters at the bath house represent the differences in people in the real world. I do not necessarily believe the point of their characters is to be represent cruelty, but merely to represent that different types of people exist; we must condition and desensitize ourselves to their quirks if we wish to still peacefully interact with them. This is not to say we shouldn't appreciate them, but, like Jahiro, we must be persistent in what we want and not let the differences in character between ourselves and others stand in the way of pursuing our desires.