A State of Imperfect Transformation: Law, Myth, and the Feminine in <i>Outside Over There</i>, <i>Labyrinth,</i> and <i>Pan's Labyrinth</i>

Anne McGillivray

in Law and Childhood Studies

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652501
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739217 | DOI:

Series: Current Legal Issues

A State of Imperfect Transformation: Law, Myth, and the Feminine in Outside Over There, Labyrinth, and Pan's Labyrinth

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Three contemporary works tell the story of a girl's journey through the labyrinth to retrieve her mother's baby from the goblins. Maurice Sendak's picture book Outside Over There (1981) and Jim Henson's film Labyrinth (1986) are framed as stories for children. Guillermo del Toro's film Pan's Labyrinth (2006) draws on the tropes of children's fiction to tell an adult story of the horrors of war. The hero Theseus strode through the Cretan labyrinth to find a child-eating monster. In these stories, the monster is a baby and the hero is a girl. This chapter asks why. Part 2.2 considers the nature of the labyrinth and significations of the mythic labyrinth. Part 2.3 summarizes the three labyrinth stories and draw connections with Wonderland's Alice. Part 2.4 explores the significance of the girl-child and connections between the feminine, the labyrinth, and the law. Part 2.5 considers the meanings of goblins while Part 2.6 looks at the labyrinth and desire.

Keywords: children; labyrinth; Alice in Wonderland; girl-child; feminine; law; goblins; desire

Chapter.  12535 words. 

Subjects: Family Law

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