A look a "Pratical Magic"

1809 Words4 Pages

Practical Magic was released October 16, 1998. The story is about two sisters who break a curse that had been placed on their family for over 200 years, by their ancestor Maria. Throughout the movie the theme is magic. Practical Magic helps to break the false images placed on witches and magic throughout time, but at times, the movie, still upholds some of the negative views of witches. There are many stereotypes that are set upon modern witchcraft and magic in today’s society that Hollywood has helped to maintain. In society there are people that are the selected voice of the general public in critiquing movies. I will be looking at Practical Magic’s use of magic to see how they break or perpetuate the following stereotypes: physical appearance of a witch, the witch as an outcast, and the types of magic and how they were shown throughout the movie.
When looking at the main characters: Sally, Gillian, Jet and Frances, the viewer will see different physical appearances of how Hollywood views the possible appearance of a witch A witch throughout history is usually a hag, old, poor, handicapped, or ugly (Guiley 371). In the movie, the Owens women are what most people would consider quite beautiful. They are just like normal people with the exception of the fact that they have a gift. The aunts: Jet and Frances in the movie would be considered to follow the typical stereotype of a witch that is old but even though they are typical old woman that lives on the outskirts of town they break the stereotypical medieval image of a witch being ugly and a hag but they also perpetuate other stereotypes by dressing in lavish 19th century clothing. Their style screams “I’m different”. The aunts seem to be aging quite well. They appear to look young for their age. In one scene, when the detective goes in to town to ask about the Owens’ sisters, he gets an ear full about how the aunts don’t age. Many in the town believe this is due to the fact that they are witches.
There is one more image of a witch portrayed in history. This image is from the other end of the spectrum. Instead of being a hag or ugly, she is beautiful and a seductive woman. Sally destroys the image of both of the stereotypes of what a witch looks like.

Open Document