Saturday, 28 December 2013

Reading Assignment #3: Text Connections

Text to Text Connection:

The concept of breaking free from social standards that is referenced with the fairy tale creatures in Shrek the Musical seems familiar to me. The characters have been oppressed in the past for just being themselves, and they sing about this in Freak Flag. During this scene, they decide that they shouldn't be treated badly just because they're not like everyone else and decide to break free from the expectations of their culture. This reminds me of a scene in Billy Elliot in which Billy and his friend Michael have an interesting discussion about cross-dressing. Michael enjoys wearing women's clothes and ends up encouraging Billy to ignore what others want and take up ballet, telling him to be himself. This then goes into a musical number entitles "Expressing Yourself", in which Michael continues encouraging Billy to be himself and step outside of cultural norms.

Text to World:

It seems that Shrek the Musical addresses ideas that are far beyond a mere children's story. One particular element that appears in the story is revolt and revolution. In Shrek the Musical, the fairy tale creatures realize that they are being oppressed and singled out as a minority, and in turn they are sent to less than ideal resettlements- being dumped on a swamp or in a landfill, which to me sounds similar to reserves or even the Japanese internment. Just like in the show, the Japanese Canadians were oppressed for their race and sent away to camps and treated less than human. However, the fairy tale creatures responded with revolt, similar to events that have been happening recently in Northern Africa. Problems in government of several countries has led the people to turn against the government and overthrow those in power. In Shrek the Musical, the fairy tale creatures overthrow Farquaad's tyrannous reign and he is even killed (eaten by the Dragon) in the process. Not really entirely a children's movie after all, Shrek the Musical discusses oppression, government corruption, revolution and assassination. Those are some pretty mature real-world problems if you ask me.

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