Category Archives: Motifs at work

All at Sea in a Winter Storm

In 2016, Walt Disney Pictures released the film The Finest Hours, about the 1952 Coast Guard rescue of sailors trapped on a broken and sinking ship. The rescue took place in the middle of a winter storm, at night. The … Continue reading

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Disengaged Hero, Disengaged Audience

I’ll start by saying I’m not familiar with the source material, or the earlier drafts of the film scripts. You could say I’m disengaged from earlier versions. I’m just working from what was achieved in the theatrical film. World War … Continue reading

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Evil versus Not-Evil

A couple of years ago, for Mythcon, I wrote a paper that discussed tendencies in apocalyptic fantasy fiction (that is, fantasies that deal with ultimate conflicts of cosmic powers). The theme of the conference was “War in Heaven.” In the … Continue reading

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Object Lessons

Alfred Hitchcock coined the term “Maguffin” for an object in a story (in his case, specifically in films), an object that everyone in the story cares about but which wouldn’t really matter much to the audience outside the story. Such … Continue reading

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Was Dorothy Tempted?

The search strings that bring people to my website have once again provided an intriguing issue for me to consider. In this case, the matter for examination is temptation. The actual question was: “Is Dorothy tempted?” I think it is … Continue reading

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