Fairy Tales 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Into the Woods and Fables: what about the narrator?

I saw "Into the Woods" performed at my high school when I was in 8th grade and remember thinking that the first and second act are polar opposites, but the crucial link between the two was the narrator.
When there is no longer a narrator to tell the story of the characters, life doesn't fit together so perfectly--baker wives fall in love with Princes, Princes cheat on their princess, Cinderella is no longer happy living in the palace, Rapunzel abandons her family, and the fairy tale world as we know it gets turned upside down. The characters have to make their own decisions, and this seems to present more of a problem of finding the correct "ingredients" needed to help the baker's wife have a child.
As the witch says: "You're so nice. You're not good, you're not bad, you're just nice. I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right. I'm the Witch. You're the world."
The characters in Fables face the same dilemma about making decisions about whether to do the "right" thing which may not always be good. There is no narrator directing the story--the only sense of the narrator is at the very beginning where it says "Once Upon a Time...In a Fictional Land called New York City," and at the end, where it says "The End--For Now." The entire story is run by the characters and there is no outside voice directing their actions, which is why there is so much conflict. The graphic novel form allows for the author to show different viewpoints of different characters that may be happening at the same time, and the musical form also allows for this as well. Multiple characters sing at the same time on stage, each telling their own story.

1 comment:

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