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Puff the Magic Dragon Inspires Fearlessness

I have very vivid dreams every night and have been keeping dream journals consistently over last several years. So far I’ve filled three dream journals over that period of time, and it seems that the more I write them down, the more I dream. Sometimes I can easily interpret them, other times I am completely lost as to why I would dream such bizarre things.

One night I had this very vivid dream of being on a journey, flying horses and calling one of them Puff the Magic Dragon. Upon waking, I had no idea what in the world any of it meant, as I did not remember the story of Puff. Thankfully for Youtube, I watched the three 9-minute segments of the 1978 cartoon and there was the answer to my dream.

I had already known that the meaning of flying in a dream is overcoming something or rising above a situation. Horses in a dream symbolize strength and endurance. Next, it was up to me to discover why I was recalling the cartoon about Puff the Magic Dragon.

The story of Puff begins with a little boy named Jackie Draper who does not speak. A dragon named Puff appears at his window and tells Jackie he is there to help him help himself. Puff draws a picture of Jackie and names him “Jackie Paper”, and takes Jackie Paper on a journey in a boat to discover the land of Honah Lee. Along the journey is a big mean-looking pirate, which at first the little boy fears.

“The first step in not being afraid is to see things as they really are,” Puff tells Jackie. All of a sudden, Jackie sees the pirate as a baker and is no longer afraid.

The next fear that Jackie must overcome is the sea. Puff tells the boy that it’s not the sea he’s afraid of, but the dark clouds that cover the stars – because the clouds are jealous of the stars. The clouds believe they can deny beauty by hiding it, and just as a star falls from the sky, Puff tells Jackie that the clouds are always happy when a star dies.

As the star lay dying in his boat and cannot speak, Jackie says, “She wants to talk but she can’t. I know how she feels,” and although he is still afraid, the boy makes it his mission to save the star – and he does. Immediately after his mission is accomplished, the boat arrives on Honah Lee, but the place is not as they expected. The inhabitants of the island are all big noses that only sneeze and feel discomfort, which helps Jackie to understand that the reason they act that way is because they feel so miserable.

In the end, the pirate-cook comes along and creates rain made of chicken soup, thereby curing the inhabitants of Honah Lee. Puff brings Jackie Paper back to his room and tells him that he needs to be Jackie Draper, who is able to speak once again.

The moral of the story is that if you are fearless and see things in a different perspective, the stars and sunshine will come out – after the clouds and rain. I then understood the meaning of my dream.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Sexual Innuendos, Weak & Evil Females

I took an online course taught by University of Michigan professor Eric Rabkin. Fantasy & Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World. Our first assignment was to read Grimm’s Children’s and Household Tales (Lucy Crane translation with Walter Crane illustrations) and write a themed essay of 270-320 words.

Shannon's Creative Work: PARANORMAL PROJECT &emdash; History Repeats

Several of the Grimm stories contain sexual innuendos and exhibit female characters as either weak or evil. In the weaker female character versions, they can only be saved by a male.

In “The Rabbit’s Bride”, the female character (maiden) is both lonely and gullible. The male character (rabbit) lures the maiden to sit on his tail, which is clearly a sexual pun, and the gullible maiden agrees to run off with the rabbit to get married. Likewise, the female character (mouse) in “Cat & Mouse in Partnership” is both gullible and weak. She believes her male (cat) partner’s lies and in the end becomes his victim when he no longer wants her to speak. The weak and gullible female (princess) character in “Faithful John” is taken by the merchant upon false pretenses after he opens his coat and shows her his “golden wares”, which could be yet another sexual innuendo. Even after being fooled, the princess still marries the King and later believes the lies he tells her.

“Clever Grethel” lives up to her name. She is conniving with both her gullible male master (who is perhaps her husband) and his guest. Giving that she is cooking two “cocks”, it may be suggested that the guest is someone with whom Grethel is having an affair.
Shannon's Creative Work: PARANORMAL PROJECT &emdash; Out of the Darkness

Some of the stories contain both a weak and an evil female character. While the princess in “The Goose Girl” is too weak to fend for herself against the wicked waiting-woman, in the end it is a male character that saves her. “The Raven” is another example of a story in which the main female character (princess) can only be saved by a male, and the male is deceived and drugged by an evil female (old woman) to keep him from rescuing the princess.

A Look at Alice’s Character in Wonderland

An assignment in the Fiction and Fantasy course I am taking required reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. I don’t believe I’d ever read the originals, but they are far different from a child’s world of imagination when read as an adult. I really wanted to dig deeper into Alice’s world, however, the assignments only allow us less than a 400-word count, and I could have written 10 pages on just the symbolism alone. This still isn’t my best work, because I was rushed to complete this as well as another course assignment.

As this was my first time ever reading both Alice in Wonderland (AW) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (ALG), I came to the conclusion that Alice was an adolescent going through an identity crisis, perhaps suffering from mental illness, drug/alcohol introduction, and sexual abuse.

The beginning of ALW reveals instances of indulgence and innocence changed – such as the White Rabbit (fertility, innocence), the cake (something sweet), the “drink me” bottle (indulgence), a golden key, orange marmalade (sweet), and later the white roses painted red. Everything in the first chapter presented to Alice is “sinful” in one way or another, and also seemed both keep her innocence, but at the same time reveal it was not so much. Alice has indulged in the “sweetness” of cake and a drink, both of which change both her attitude (“people are pushy”) and altitude (“nothing is the same”) of things to become her. In later chapters, Alice is presented as both a victim and someone unusual (as a possible example of mental illness – remembering this is the 1800s).

In Chapter 2, Alice begins to speak to objects (her own feet) as if they can hear and understand her, and she does this as well in ALG when speaking to the kitten as if it were human (she also bullies the kitten). In both cases, Alice speaks to herself in third person, as if she is someone else altogether, and refers to herself by other names, especially after the Cheshire Cat begins to call Alice “Mary Ann.” Once the Cat tells Alice “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad,” then it becomes clear that Alice is perhaps in a place in which others are not mentally stable. Eventually, Alice admits to playing games with herself, and some of the games enter her dream – even though they may not make sense at first.