Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Morality of Fiction: Elsa and Quirrell

Image copyright Disney
Image copyright Warner Brothers
On this blogpost about the satanic evil of the song "Let it Go" from the movie Frozen, which declares "No right, no wrong, no rules for me I'm free!" there are several responses defending the movie by pointing out that Elsa's acts were portrayed as doing harm; she's not the good guy, they say.

It's true this is a mistake people frequently make: thinking that if a character, any character, voices a bad moral principle in a work of fiction, the work and the author are promoting that principle. I saw this mistake in action once when a Catholic publication, back when the books were new, featured an article making the common claim that Harry Potter was Satanic.

The article had a selection of quotes from the first book meant as evidence that it preached evil. Among them was the following, rather similar to the sentiment in "Let it Go":

"There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it."

I knew at once that the article-writer was not honest. That statement is said by Professor Quirrell, the villain of the first book, at the climax where Harry confronts him, the good vs. evil showdown. It is meant to show us how evil he is and tell us what Harry as the hero, and thus the moral of the story, stands counter to.

So, is Elsa a villain like Quirrell, voicing abhorrent moral principles for the hero to stand against and thereby teaching the viewers to likewise fight against such ideas?

Let's examine the differences between the characters, how they're portrayed. (I must note here that I have not seen Frozen and never intend to. But I know the plot, have read the lyrics to "Let it Go," and most importantly, have observed with great frequency (indeed, it is absolutely unavoidable) the manner in which the character Elsa is marketed.)

Quirrell is weak, cowardly, and smells bad. He sold his soul to evil in a disgusting bodily violation maintained by a cursed ritual involving the slaughter of unicorns. He is foul in deed and aspect. Nobody wants to be Quirrell.

Elsa, while she supposedly learns her lesson at the end, is all along an attractive figure. She endangers the land, yes, but in a pleasant-looking way. She's beautiful, sultry, wearing a gorgeous sparkly dress and living in an ornate fairy palace. Every little girl wants to be Elsa.

Now, there are plenty of beautiful and charismatic villains whose principles are still portrayed as wrong. But is Elsa's self-will really condemned? What is, overall, encouraged and glorified? Look at the way "Let it Go" is celebrated. Most of all, LOOK AT THE MARKETING. Are girls being encouraged to want to be the unfettered, selfish Elsa or are they not?

Parents, do not be fooled by Disney's family-friendly reputation. They have repeatedly promoted sodomy in their films and amusement parks. They preach self-will, pride, and rebellion against the laws of God.

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