Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Savior Formerly Known as Prince.

Poor Snow White, always dreaming of a better life and never finding a salvation that goes beyond chauvinistic societal limitations. Why am I looking so much into a simple fairy tale you ask? The answer is simple: little boys and girls, grow up on these tales that establish that women will only find solace, happiness and fulfillment once they find a man. Sure, this is all very trite, I agree but beyond the "obvious" story codes, movies have always embedded subtle, shall we call 'em Freudian graphic slips in movies.

For example, why on Earth is Snow White looking for answers in a well? Not only are wells essentially patriarchal symbols of urban development, they also happen to be extremely phallic figures. If you think I'm still being too paranoid, I take you to my favorite shot in the movie:

See, how what once were innocent cute little singing birds seem to take on the shape of jaws about to swallow our heroine. Since the camera is looking up at her it makes us feel that she can only be safe if she enters the well and surrenders whatever little independence she really had (why is the Queen evil if she's only trying to live up to strict rules about how women should look and act?) It doesn't really help that birds have forever represented the male reproductive organ, it's as if the movie is telling girls that other men will harass them, but they have to keep pure until "the one" arrives.

Not so curiously enough, the minute the prince appears the birds fly away, making the scene harmonious once more. Takes someone with balls to save this woman from the perils of the world. That this whole scene is set to one of the catchiest, most iconic songs in the Disney canon speaks for itself. Who cares if the animation is so subversive? Children and most grown ups will never know, after Taylor Swift sings "Romeo save me, I've been feeling so alone. I keep waiting for you but you never come, is this in my head, I don't know what to think". As Carrie Bradshaw would say, "another one bites the dust".

This post is part of Nat's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot".

2 comments:

NATHANIEL R said...

hmmm aren't wells more vaginal than phallic? Either way if you want to go there it gives you much to savor symbolically.

Squasher88 said...

I agree, I would think of wells as more vaginal (they are basically holes after all!). Interesting choice.