Down the Rabbit Hole, Into the
Fallopian Tree, and Through the
Vaginal Tunnel
FANTASY, FAIRY TALES, AND FEMALE
SEXUALITY I...
Female Sexuality in Fantasy and Fairy Tales

“The fairy tale, as a literary/cultural genre, has
traditionally been associa...
Similarities to Alice
Similarities to Alice
Similarities to Alice
 Tunnels
 Fantastic worlds
 Talking animals
 Frightening authority figures
 Series of quests
Similarities to Alice
Sexual Awakening in Wonderland
Older Male Figures
Older Male Figures
Older Male Figures
Older Male Figures
Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
Other Mothers
Other Mothers
Other Mothers
Other Mothers
Other Mothers
Other Mothers
The Flower Blooms
The Flower Blooms
The Flower Blooms
The Impact of Body Image on Female Sexuality
It is estimated that:
 7 million American women have an eating disorder
 On...
Trapped in the Looking Glass
Trapped in the Looking Glass
The Specter of Thinness
The Specter of Thinness
The Specter of Thinness
The Specter of Thinness
The Specter of Thinness
Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
Conclusion
Works Cited
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Ackerman, S. (2008). Behind the looking glass. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge S...
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Down the Rabbit Hole, Into the Fallopian Tree, and Through the Vaginal Tunnel: Fantasy, Fairy Tales, and Female Sexuality in Spirited Away, Pan's Labyrinth, and Coraline

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Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (1865), the films Spirited Away (2001, dir. Hayao Miyazaki), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006, dir. Guillermo Del Toro), and Coraline (2009, dir. Henry Selick) each use fantasy and fairy tale tropes to explore issues of female empowerment and sexuality. All three films feature young girls entering a new world of adult responsibilities and concerns, and they are guided on this journey by an older male character. More importantly, though, all three films use a number of tropes associated with fairy tales and fantasy literature to explore the challenges that girls are often confronted with on their journey to adulthood. A textual analysis of each film reveals that these tropes are being used to represent a number of significant challenges and opportunities for the female protagonists to come to know themselves via their emergent sexuality, and also allow them to navigate the tensions that exist between childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Thus, all three films use tropes associated with fantasy and children’s fairy tales to examine and explore how sexuality provides girls and young women with both a barrier and a doorway to growing up.

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Down the Rabbit Hole, Into the Fallopian Tree, and Through the Vaginal Tunnel: Fantasy, Fairy Tales, and Female Sexuality in Spirited Away, Pan's Labyrinth, and Coraline

  1. 1. Down the Rabbit Hole, Into the Fallopian Tree, and Through the Vaginal Tunnel FANTASY, FAIRY TALES, AND FEMALE SEXUALITY IN SPIRITED AWAY, PAN'S LABYRINTH, AND CORALINE Christopher J. Olson DePaul University Fall 2013
  2. 2. Female Sexuality in Fantasy and Fairy Tales “The fairy tale, as a literary/cultural genre, has traditionally been associated with women; and women have, in different times and in distinctly different ways, impressed upon these tales the nature of their deepest fantasies.” Joyce Carol Oates, 1997
  3. 3. Similarities to Alice
  4. 4. Similarities to Alice
  5. 5. Similarities to Alice  Tunnels  Fantastic worlds  Talking animals  Frightening authority figures  Series of quests
  6. 6. Similarities to Alice
  7. 7. Sexual Awakening in Wonderland
  8. 8. Older Male Figures
  9. 9. Older Male Figures
  10. 10. Older Male Figures
  11. 11. Older Male Figures
  12. 12. Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
  13. 13. Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
  14. 14. Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
  15. 15. Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
  16. 16. Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
  17. 17. Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
  18. 18. Forbidden Rooms, Doorways, and Other Worlds
  19. 19. Other Mothers
  20. 20. Other Mothers
  21. 21. Other Mothers
  22. 22. Other Mothers
  23. 23. Other Mothers
  24. 24. Other Mothers
  25. 25. The Flower Blooms
  26. 26. The Flower Blooms
  27. 27. The Flower Blooms
  28. 28. The Impact of Body Image on Female Sexuality It is estimated that:  7 million American women have an eating disorder  One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia  Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia South Carolina Department of Mental Health (http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm):
  29. 29. Trapped in the Looking Glass
  30. 30. Trapped in the Looking Glass
  31. 31. The Specter of Thinness
  32. 32. The Specter of Thinness
  33. 33. The Specter of Thinness
  34. 34. The Specter of Thinness
  35. 35. The Specter of Thinness
  36. 36. Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
  37. 37. Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
  38. 38. Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
  39. 39. Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
  40. 40. Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
  41. 41. Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
  42. 42. Binging, Purging, and the Power of Food
  43. 43. Conclusion
  44. 44. Works Cited               Ackerman, S. (2008). Behind the looking glass. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Blackford, H. V. (2012). The myth of Persephone in girls' fantasy literature. (pp. 199-220). New York, NY: Routledge. Caccavo, P. W. (1992). The forbidden room: A pair of fairy tales as a developmental metaphor. In E. V. Siegel (Ed.), Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Women (pp. 130-149). New York, NY: Brunner/Mazel, Publishers. Eating disorder statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm Empson, W. (2006). Alice in Wonderland: The child as swain. In H. Bloom (Ed.), Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations: Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (pp. 39-68). New York, NY: Chelsea House. Fairy tale tropes. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FairyTaleTropes Garland, C. (2008). Curious appetites: Food, desire, gender and subjectivity in Lewis Carroll's Alice texts. The Lion and the Unicorn, 32(1), 22-39. Nathan, S. H. (2001). Ea241-248ting disorders. In M. Forman-Brunell (Ed.), Girlhood in America: An Encyclopedia (pp.). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC. Oates, J. C. (1997). In olden times, when wishing was having. Classic and contemporary fairy tales. The Kenyon Review, 19(3/4), 98-110. Raburn, J. (1992). The Changeover: a fantasy of opposites. Children’s Literature in Education, 23, 27-38. Rowe, K. (1979). Feminism and fairy tales. Women's Studies: An inter-disciplinary journal, 6(3), 237-257. Stone, K. (1975). Things Walt Disney never told us. The Journal of American Folklore, 88(347), 42-50. Talairach-Vielmas, L. (2007). Moulding the female body in Victorian fairy tales and sensation novels. (pp. 49-65). Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company. Waller, A. (2004). “Solid all the way through”: Margaret Mahy’s ordinary witches. Children’s Literature in Education, 35(1), 77-86.

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