I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite some time now, but I never quite got around to actually doing it.
Normally, I’d blame life or make some excuse right about… here, but this time I really can’t. I was just lazy, this time, or I kept on forgetting about it, for reasons which do not make any sense whatsoever.
The point is, this is an issue that needs to be addressed. And I haven’t addressed it. I have been remiss in my duties, and I will willingly accept any punishment that you, the readers of my blog, deem to be sufficient for my offense.
Anyway, this post is about the consistent themes that seem to abound in literature and media of all kinds.
For instance, in Tangled Rapunzel runs away from home, even though Gothel told her not to. In fact, the whole movie is riddled with everything Rapunzel does in rebellion against Gothel’s authority. We can try to excuse this by saying that Gothel’s authority is tenuous at best, since she is not Rapunzel’s mother; in fact, she stole Rapunzel from her parents, and Gothel’s motives are always selfish. But the fact remains. Rapunzel doesn’t realize that Gothel’s motives are selfish, nor does she know that Gothel has no legal claim upon her. For all she knows, Gothel loves her entirely and selflessly and is, in fact, her biological mother.
Rapunzel’s excuse? Following her heart.
Now, I wouldn’t have such a problem with this, if Rapunzel’s offense hadn’t gone entirely unpunished. Actions have consequences, people.
Where are those consequences!?
The movie was good, I’ll grant you that. But it would have been better still if the writer, producer, and director hadn’t been sappy and cowardly about it, and given Rapunzel’s action some consequences, and she spent the rest of the movie trying to make it up, like Merida did in Brave.
Over and over again, we see this same thread. Anakin Skywalker? Rebels. Excuse? Following his heart. Gets away with it scot-free (up until Revenge of the Sith.) Obi-Wan is great and all, but he needs to be a bit more of a disciplinarian in my opinion. You don’t have to be stern and severe to be a disciplinarian, though. If Obi-Wan had been a little less scared by the mood swings Anakin went through, things might have turned out a whole lot better. Qui-Gon Jinn? Rebels. Excuse? Following his heart. (Beginning to see a trend here?) Gets away with it. No retribution.
However, fortunately not all rebelling characters get away with their misdeeds. I think my favorite example of this is Disney/Pixar’s Brave. Merida is being pushed into a marriage with one of the noblemen. She tries to stop her marriage, going against her mother’s wishes. (Want to know her excuse?) She goes to a witch and buys a spell that will change Elinor’s mind and her own fate. Unfortunately, the spell changes Elinor into a beautiful, sleek, elegant, lovely black bear. (I think that no matter how awkward the beginning, Elinor still retains her grace while she’s in the shape of the bear.) Of course, they want to change her back. Merida sees that she made a mistake, and the whole adventure results in mother and daughter growing closer. (I still can’t believe that Merida cut a huge slash in a priceless tapestry, though.)
BBC Merlin has multiple examples. Gaius tells Merlin not to do certain things (such as healing Guinevere’s father) for a reason; Merlin does it anyway, and learns the hard way, growing as a character and man in the process. Outside of the movies (and in The Phantom Menace), Obi-Wan Kenobi has his rebellious moments too, but winds up repenting them, bitterly. Especially regretting his sharp-tongued comeback at Qui-Gon in The Phantom Menace. But more still on Melida/Daan, he decides to leave the Jedi Order and finds out that he can’t fix everything; the young girl he befriended (I don’t think there were romantic overtones, but frame it how you choose) died in his arms. But Obi-Wan’s different–it seems the galaxy has a grudge against him for some reason.
Anyway, I’ll tell you all what I would like to see, eventually.
I want to see someone who obeys their elders, even though the elders’ motives are not altruistic. I want to see a Pollyanna. I don’t care who says Pollyanna is old-fashioned. *glares at anyone who might mention it in the comments* Don’t do it. I will smack you. 😛
I want to see someone who obeys not out of grudging acquiescence or out of fear or out of laziness or ignorance. I want to see someone who obeys out of knowledge and love.
If you could kindly guide me in that direction, I would be very grateful indeed.
Thanks for reading this little rant, and God Bless!