Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

Jungle Book

Image Credit: Kaa

Video Credit: Trust in me-Jungle Book

Evil is represented in many different sources, even including children’s movies, as exemplified by the Jungle Book. The main antagonist is a talking snake. Clearly, this references back to Genesis 3, where Satan is a serpent talking to Eve to deceive her into thinking eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil will not lead to death, but instead would lead to her becoming like God. As a consequence of merely speaking with the serpent the tree began to look “good for food” and it was “a delight to the eyes;” she began to desire the tree and thus she fell (Genesis 3). In the same way, the snake in the Jungle Book, Kaa, has some magical powers in his eyes that enable him to hypnotize people when they look into them. He wants to be able to control the animals, but especially the human, and the more he is around them, the higher the chance is that he will have them look into eyes so that they will become hypnotized. He decides to pick on the easier target, the man-cub, as his prey, telling the little boy in the movie that he is there to help the boy out if only the boy would trust him, similar to when Eve trusted the serpent, as the boy didn’t know that the snake was evil. After deceiving the boy into thinking that he could be trusted, the man-cub breaks out of the hypnosis-induced sleep, and is able to get away from the snake for the time-being. This is a sort of awakening. Even though the boy fell fully under the snake’s powers, he still had the ability to escape when the proper time arose, giving him the chance to get away from evil. Though it isn’t the best portrayal as evil, it does a good job in introducing an antagonistic evil character to children by exemplifying him as a crafty, subtle, and deceitful snake.

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2 responses

  1. It’s somewhat funny how this snake is supposed to be evil and “deceitful” when he is a Disney character that is illustrated as more goofy-looking, if you will.

    I’m a little confused as to why the man-cub would find the snake trustworthy. My Jungle Book knowledge is a bit fuzzy but I would like to know why the child eventually trusts the snake.

    May 11, 2011 at 5:49 am

  2. As I stated, the boy was deceived. He was sly in his speaking with the man-cub, and used his eyes to make the boy go under a hypnotic trance.

    May 11, 2011 at 5:55 pm

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