The Reality of Fantasy in the World of Ofelia Essay
The Reality of Fantasy in the World of Ofelia In the movie Pan’s Labyrinth a little girl named Ofelia lives through a war but it’s not just a war to her because she’s experiencing things that other people might consider to be a complete fantasy. She talks to a monster like creature that just seems to be taking advantage of her throughout the whole movie and claims to be helping her. This creature gives Ofelia tasks and if she completes them she would become a princess elsewhere. In the end it seems like she died but re-enters a new world filled with happiness, greatness, and becomes a princess according to her.
Ofelia’s other world seems to be a fantasy or a pigment of her imagination and this is true. Ofelia is imagining all of the creatures and the tasks in her mind and all of the fantasies distract her from the horrible world she’s already living in. Ofelia’s mom gives her a book full of fairy tales and she reads it and starts living it out in real life. A strange creature which is the Faun suddenly appears in her room claiming that she could become a princess if she completes some tasks that he would assign to her.
The Faun seems to be like a half goat half human and it is a very creepy looking creature. He gives her magical chalk to make a magical door on the stone wall and it actually works. The door opens and she enters a medieval styled hallway which leads to a long table with a feast on it. The half goat creature had told her to not indulge in any of the food that would be on the table but since she hadn’t had dinner yet she decides to take a bite out of a grape. At the end of the table there’s another creature that looks like a mix between a ghost and a mummy.
This creature is the Pale Man and was completely still until Ofelia took the bite out of the grape and then it didn’t take it very well. It got up from the table and chased after Ofelia as if it wanted to harm her but she escaped from it by drawing another magical door on the roof and climbing out of that surreal hall. The Pale Man represents her father at the dinner table just a few minutes before and how his character is. He’s a mean and selfish person and that’s why he got mad when she got something from his feast.
After she got back to her room the Faun scolded her for not following his instructions and this represents how everyone is always telling her she’s doing wrong even though it was an innocent mistake. The Faun also told Ofelia that if she followed his instructions again he could cure her mother. She would have to put a plant like creature which is called the Mandrake Root in a bowl and feed it fresh milk every day. She would also have to place it under her mother’s bed. Her mother was pregnant and she seemed like if she was going to die.
After awhile her mother started getting better but as soon as her father found out what she was doing he disapproved and handed the Mandrake Root to her mother. The mother was stunned and very bothered by what Ofelia had done. Ofelia tried to explain but her mother just told her stop believing all the fairytales she’s told her and that the world they live in is a very cruel world. After this the mother tosses the Mandrake into the fire. It starts screeching and screaming as if it was in pain and as soon as it begins to burn the mother starts to die as well.
It might seem like if what the Faun said was true but Ofelia is just seeing things as she wants. She just liked to have hope and believe her mother was dying because they threw the Mandrake into the fire but in reality she just didn’t want to accept that her mother was dying. She wanted an excuse to accept it because her life wasn’t going well at all and she wanted to look at the positives. After the mother died the doctor saved her baby brother and of course her father didn’t treat her any better.
Ofelia believed that her father was not fit to take care of her brother so she tried to steal him but it was a bit difficult for her father not to notice. She tried using the chalk that the Faun gave her to make a magical door but her father caught her in the act. The door that she drew opened up but she didn’t have time to escape and through that same door her father’s soldiers came in to tell him that he was needed outside. She escaped and ran outside with her baby brother but when her father saw them he chased after them all the way into a maze of tall bushes.
Ofelia ran into a dead end which seemed to open up magically into the center of the maze. There she met with the Faun who told her that she could become the princess of the other world but only if she sacrificed blood from an innocent person. He referred to her baby brother. Even though the Faun said it would only be a small amount of blood and not enough to harm the baby Ofelia could sense that he had bad intentions because he took out a large knife and had an evil grin on his face.
Helpless Ofelia argued with him that she didn’t want to sacrifice or harm her brother but as the Faun was leaning in to take the baby from her the father came in somehow and demanded for her to give him the baby. He ended up just taking it from her and the angry father decided to shoot Ofelia which caused her to die. When she fell on the ground she was leaned over a well which is where the blood of an innocent body was supposed to be sacrificed and a drop of blood fell from her into the well.
While all of this was going on the army that was against her father’s army got to the scene because they had won the battle since Ofelia’s father was the general and he was distracted by Ofelia taking the baby when his army needed his direction. One of the females in the army that won was working for Ofelia’s father but secretly followed the direction of his enemy’s army. She was extremely close to Ofelia and loved her like a daughter so when he saw that Ofelia’s father had killed her she had her army kill him as well.
This was officially the end of that battle but it was also the end of Ofelia or was it? When Ofelia drew the chalk door on the wall of her father’s bedroom it magically opened up but when her father caught her trying to steal the baby and take it through that door his soldiers came through there and tried to pull him away because they needed him. If the door was magic the soldiers would not have come through there as if it already existed. Therefore the door was already there and Ofelia was imagining it because she had hope that she could escape from her father with ease and as if by magic.
The fact that her father also went through the dead end of the maze into the center of the maze as well as his enemy’s army proves that she was making it up as she went along and following her story full of fantasy through her imagination. Also when her dad arrived there he could see Ofelia arguing with someone but the problem was that there was nobody else there. The father could not see the Faun at all. At the very end of the movie Ofelia is dead but she all of a sudden appears in a world very different to the one where she lived before.
The Faun is there as well as fairies and there is three golden thrones in the center of what seems to be a palace. In one of the thrones sits her mom and in the other sits her original dad, not her step dad who was the army general and the real father of her baby brother. Her mom, her dad, and the Faun tell her that she can finally be a princess in that new world which she’s now in and through the whole movie that was all she ever wanted. The fact that she’s dead is what finally took her away from the horrible life she had and finally gave her peace of mind.
She was imagining this final scene while she was dying because she did not die instantly. With the horrible experiences Ofelia went through she desperately needed to get away somehow or have hope that everything could somehow get better. People sometimes wish they could use magic to get what they want or at least believe in magic or fairy tales in hope that their lives could be similar. This is exactly what Ofelia does. She creates a story in her mind where she gets opportunities to make her life better but in reality she’s a helpless little girl that has no chance of living a happy life.