In my early childhood, I have many memories of my summers in Greece. Greece was an idyllic tropical paradise, where the air was laced with the alluringly sweet smell of peace. The golden sun shined resplendently, releasing waves of bliss and life. My family lived together in harmony, and laughed together happily; life was good. Some children experienced the exact opposite. They lived on a decaying wasteland, where the air reeked of oppression and fear. Thick smog churned in the gray sky, blocking out all visible sunlight. In this land free thinking was frowned upon and those who cried out against the government were eerily silenced. In Spain and in Pan’s Labyrinth, we find a similar scene, where fear’s dominion over the populace is evident. The respective masters of that fear, Francisco Franco and Captain Vidal, along with their respective victims (Ofelia and the Spanish population), demonstrate the lasting effect of conflict and tyranny on the human mind. Both settings suggest a dark, cruel vision of the world in which Spain and Ofelia are oppressed and straddle the line between sanity and insanity. For these people to maintain physical and mental well-being in these environments, people have a variety of natural escape routes including fleeing and rebellion.
Franco ruled as the military dictator of Spain, and set down a firm set of regulations, set by Catholic Church, the central government, and other conservative bodies. These agents of chaos oppressed innocent civilians for years, slamming free thinking behind steel bars and chaining liberty to the cold walls of despair. People were unable to express themselves freely without fear of prosecution, exile, o...
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...th the Spanish Civil War and Pan’s Labyrinth suggest a vision of the world in which leaders use scare-tactics and oppression to control people, while (to maintain physical and mental well-being). In Spain, people could either flee the country, or fight against tyranny through organizations such as ETA. In Pan’s Labyrinth, Ofelia escaped tyranny using her own imaginative conduit, while Mercedes fought against Vidal by aiding his enemies: the rebels. Based on the above evidence, it is clear that when people are unable to express themselves, they become depressed, and eventually will go insane. While some of the Spanish people and Ofelia formed a physical/mental escape, other Spanish people and Mercedes from fought directly against their oppressor. Without these natural mechanisms of survival, identity will be crushed under the unforgiving force of affliction.
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