Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

Author Archive

Hide and Seek

Robert DeNiro plays psychologist, Dr. David Callaway, that lives in New York with his daughter. After the apparent suicide of his wife, they move to upstate to start a new life. As their new lives progress, the daughter, Emily, develops an invisible friend named Charlie. After things start turning up dead around their new home, David begins to become more wary of the way Emily is friends with this “Charlie.” After becoming a little too paranoid one night, David ends up realizing that during his times that he thought he was working in his office he was actually falling into a state where his alter ego, Charlie, comes out and kills others that are around them. His split personality was the one that killed his wife and made it look like a suicide, he also killed the cat, Elizabeth (his friend that he had began to date), and a sheriff. He also tries to go after the family friend, Katherine, who called on by Emily for help. After chasing Charlie down in to the cave where he first met Emily, Katherine is able to shoot and kill David.

The suspenseful thrill of the movie shows how there is always a darker side to the human psyche. Whether one is aware of it or not, the other side of the human mind that keeps these kinds of behaviors hidden can easily be turned off by a simple switch in the brain. The film also reveals that although one strives to be good, the bad can sometimes outweigh the good in certain situations. Evil is always lurking in the dark side of the human. No matter how advanced we may become, the line that was drawn that separated the good and domestic from the savage and brutal can easily be crossed. Therefore, this kind of evil is one that is not too far from reality.


Mr. Deeds

Played by Adam Sandler, Longfellow Deeds is simple man that has was tracked down in order to take over a multi billion dollar company that belonged to his deceased dead great-uncle. He goes to live in New York City for awhile until all “the paperwork” is done with. So along with taking over a company, the extravagent change from small town boy to big city livin’ is also part of the plot. He must also work with the company’s 2 top executives in order to take care of the business, Chuck Cedar played by Peter Gallgher and Cecil Anderson played by Erick Avari who are obsessed with greed. Another antagonist, Mac McGrath, come into the picture as he tries to exploit the story with the help of his assistant Babe Bennitt who poses as a school nurse that is being mugged. This attention grabbing situation finds Deeds and Babe together and sets them up to fall in love. Betrayal after betrayal in the city, Deeds finally relinquishes his title and goes home. He later comes back, the company is saved, gets the girl, and gets Chuck Cedar fired.

The use of some of the Dealy Sins show that there is evil in everyone. Some of more important aspects of the film relate to the temptation of greed and pride. Deeds does not fall victim to any sins after he gains so much money. Throughout the entire plot, he stayed true to himself and the simple living that he was accustomed to. Chuck Cedar let greed get the best of him as he was continuously urging Deeds to give up his title in order to gain control of the company. Cecil Anderson ended up following in Deeds’ loving nature and became a good guy. Babe Bennitt proves to be the femme fatale and uses lying and coercion to get stories in the news. But she realizes the wrong in her ways after she accidentally falls in love with Deeds. Deeds is shown as the ultimate protagonist as he not only sticks to his values but also forgives the many that were first against him.

El Hombre Palido (The Pale Man)

In Pan’s Labyrinth the main character, Ofelia, who loves fairytales, moves with her pregnant mother to the home of her new Fascist army general of a stepfather during World War II. Attempting to keep her childhood life secure from worldly forces, she keeps her fairytale hopes alive when Ofelia encounters a faun who informs her of her true identity. The faun tells her that she is the daughter of a king in a magical world and in order to return to her former self she must prove her loyalty by completing 3 tasks. Of the 3 tasks, the second alludes to one of the stories in the bible.

In her second task, Ofelia must retrieve an object from a portal that leads her to the dining table of the Pale Man. This ghastly creature has hands that have slits in them for eyes and eats children. It sits before an elaborate table of extravagant foods and delicacies that are mouthwatering at their sight. Prior to this task, Ophelia was punished by not being able to eat dinner. So the sight of this tremendous amount of food is very tempting to her. The faun had warned her that she must not eat any of the food that she sees. She then completes the task and on her way out, she satiates a bit of her hunger by snagging some grapes and awakens the beast that threatens her life.

In this scene, Ofelia embodies the persona of Eve. Much like her, Ofelia is an innocent child that is forbidden from eating the fruit of The Tree of Knowledge by God. The Faun almost takes on a Christ-like figure in giving the tasks and testing Ofelia of her ability to obey commands that will lead her back to her father’s kingdom which symbolizes heaven. Although she is warned of the consequences of not being able to return and be happy in the kingdom (like Eve), she still disobeys. This scene embodies the beginning of the fall of Adam and Eve. As Ofelia eats of the forbidden fruit, she brings to light the story of Genesis. She is a woman that fails to disregard temptation and ends up putting her own life in jeopardy.

With that in mind, as she eats, the creature comes to life and begins to stalk after her. This exemplifies how the innocence and life everlasting of Adam and Eve was taken away and replaced by the ability to die. In awakening the creature, Ofelia opens the door for her own temptations to outweigh the need to please her father to gain entrance into his kingdom. In Christian aspects, one must not let temptation rule their lives. It should be disregarded no matter how difficult to prove you are worthy of God’s kingdom and grace. If she had not let her own temptations cloud her judgment, Ofelia would not have had to fear for her own life.

Gaga for Betrayal

“When he comes to me, I am ready
I’ll wash his feet with my hair if he needs
Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain
Even after three times, he betrays me.”

In this allusion to the night that Judas betrayed Jesus, Gaga uses the storyline of how Jesus washed the feet of His Disciples even though He knew of actions that were going to take place that night. In this sense, I feel that Gaga is holding herself as one that is comparable to Jesus Christ. She sings of the things she did/would do for Judas whom she loves so much that she would suffer the same pains as Christ did before He died. In forgiving Judas for betraying her, Gaga also comments on how she would still forgive him after betraying her three times. In the Bible, Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss on the cheek and then commits suicide. It was Peter that betrayed/ denied Jesus three times showing that this is one of the times that the number three is referenced in the Bible and clearing up any hints that it was Judas.

Gaga also uses the story of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus in a way that she almost hails him as an epically tragic hero. In her last verse, Gaga proclaims, “Jesus is my virtue, And Judas is the demon I cling to…” With this line, Lady Gaga reveals how she knows that loving a person like this will lead her down a road of destruction since she now considers Judas a demon. In a religious sense, Gaga has let herself fall in love with one who is not only considered, if not is, the biggest betrayer in all of history but also one who goes against Catholic wishes and commits suicide after his actions. If Gaga is so in love with him, why would she choose to fall in love with one who is so devastatingly tragic? This love that she sings about in her song just brings forth the unnaturally controversial sides of Lady Gaga’s music that captivates so many. One can only suspect that she does this for publicity, but there is also the aspect that many have their own different beliefs and have separate ways of showing them. But in this video, I feel that Gaga mocks Christianity too much as she rides with 12 bikers each with the name of a Disciple on their jackets and one that has a gold and jeweled crown of thorns.

Fairest of Them All

The Queen relies on the information of her magic mirror that apparently never lies. The Queen asks it on a daily basis, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the Fairest of them all?” The mirror would report to her saying that she is the fairest. Seems like a harmless enough activity; asking a magically talking mirror if you’re the most beautiful all day, every day. But with the Queen’s later reactions to not being the most fair can be blamed on this gluttonous behavior. After unceasingly gorging herself with the thought and idea of her unfailing beauty, the Queen’s unbelievably envious nature begins to grow. She becomes so jealous when she learns that there is one that is fairer than she. This avalanche of jealousy can only stay that for an instant. But one can understand the Queen’s reasoning for wanting to get rid Snow White. If you were to contrast the two, the Queen is not young like Snow White. Her fair pale skin contrasts her ebony hair so well at first site that the Queen would have no other choice but to become jealous. But only after becoming jealous, does she jump into a wrathful state in which she expresses her wish to kill the girl to remain the “fairest of them all.” In the midst of all of this anger, she calms herself as to express reassurance in herself that she will be the one on top in the end. All these bring you up to the ultimate sin she commits: Pride. In order for her to retain this title, she had to rid her environments of competition. The anger she displays at the thought of being only second best can only lead her to want to murder.

In wanting to be “the fairest of them all” and to get rid of Snow White herself, the Queen turns to black magic and concocts a potion that will change her into an ugly old woman. With this disguise, she can now find Snow White, get close to her, and offer her a poisoned apple so that she can die. The old hag tempts Snow White with the most beautifully red and delicious looking apple and says that it will give her anything in the world she wants. This directly resembles the story of the Fall of Adam and Eve from the Bible. The Devil had been changed into a Snake and tempts Eve with the Forbidden Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge saying that it will give her powers. In the same way that Eve tried to deny it, Snow White tried but is then tricked into eating the apple. Shortly after, the old hag is chased off a cliff and falls to her death without accomplishing what she wanted; proving that evil still gets somewhat vanquished.

If You’re Going Through Hell

In Rodney Atkins’ song “If You’re Going Through Hell,” the evil of temptations at your weakest times in life is challenged. Atkins expresses how although there are times that your life may be in shambles or nothing is going the way you want it, having faith will get you through anything. Throughout the working of the piece, Rodney is constantly building up his arguments as for why one would want to and also not want to go down the road of evil. The first verse speaks of how simple it can be to choose to do wrong by things not going the way you planned and everything seeming to get worse. The second verse builds up to show how one can “step off the straight and narrow” and be led in all the wrong directions, including self-destruction with Alcoholism. The chorus then goes on to say that if you are going through hell, don’t give up and keep going. He expresses that you can get through anything so long as one’s faith remains strong. In the third verse, Atkins goes on and speaks of his own misadventures and relates to the situation. He talks of being down to his last match and fumbling in the darkness where demons are breathing down his back. This gives light to the situation in that in his last attempts of fighting off the bad to be good, there is a small chance of hope that he can relight his way to happiness and safety. In the last verse, Atkins alleviates the burden of bad situations with the knowledge that “there’s angels everywhere” and whenever you need help, one has the ability to ask and get help; attributing to Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.