Pan's Labyrinth Symbolism

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Pan’s Labyrinth is not like any fairy tale you have seen before. Most fairy tales strip away their most threatening and darkest elements, however this film makes sure to show the most violent, dark and squirmy scenes. The human experience is nowhere near perfect and Pan’s Labyrinth reflects life’s hardest experiences and teaches us to face our monsters and make sure not to become them. Captain Vidal serves as the wicked stepfather and serves as both the real-world and real-life villain, which the monstrosities of the fairy land can be understood. The two monsters of Pan’s Labyrinth, the Toad and the Pale Man, are representations of Vidal’s monstrosities, viewed through the child sight lens of Ofelia. The entrance to the tree is shaped like…show more content…
Ofelia is of course scared of these monsters, but is so brave and still crawls into that tree to trick the Toad. She is successful in killing him. She also is brave in facing the Pale Man, she is not nearly as big or strong as him, but can outsmart him, which is most important in defeating your monsters. She is also able to trick Vidal and drug him and take the baby from him. Even though in the end Vidal shoots Ofelia, she ultimately wins. She does this by not becoming her alternate self, the shadow that is Vidal. She has the opportunity to feed off the blood of her innocent brother, but decides not to become like Vidal and the monsters, and instead chooses to save her brother and in turn die herself. It is hard to tell whether this movie is reality or just a fantasy that reflects her life’s own tragic experiences, but it ultimately does not matter because this fantasy gives her the strength to bear and awful situation, hope when her mother dies, and resolve in the face of danger. Even though her life is too short, she fulfills one of man’s fondest hopes: that we die
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