At our last class Dr. Deveny presented a lecture on the movie Pan’s Labyrinth. He presented some interesting ideas about how to classify and anylize the movie. The movie itself can actually be looked at as having to different story lines and also as fitting two different genres. The first story/genre is the fairy tale line in which the protagonist Ophelia encounters the faun and begins her quest, or set of tasks. The fairy tale line follows many of patterns of traditional fairy tales. For one the number three is important in the movie, as it is in many tales. The number pops up a number of times throughout the movie (the number of fairies, the number of magic stones used to kill the toad, and the number of tasks Ophelia must complete to name a few). It also follows the pattern of many fairy tales with Ophelia’s departure from home, a villain gathering information about the hero, and a villain harming the hero’s family. There are also subtle symbols within the story which, though are more likely placed there on purpose, are reminiscent of the symbolic archetypes that pop up in normal tales.
The second story is the historical one. Del Torro has woven the movie into the narrative of the aftermath of the Spanish civil war which took place between 1936 and 1939. The struggle itself was between the Fascist and Communist parties of the government and ended in a Fascist victory. The Fascist government after the war continued to fight guerilla groups of communist resistance. This battle of the guerillas against the fascist soldiers makes up the core of the historical side of the tale.