Friendly Dragons, Moral Nightmares: The Battle for Your Child’s Imagination

 

I know this isn’t The Book Fae, but I HAD to post about this book. I read it in the car on the way home from the GHEA conference in Atlanta – about an hour. (It’s a short book). It was AMAZING!! It opened my eyes to so many things that I’ve been taking for granted! Some things I noticed and knew, such as the way witches have been made to appear ‘harmless’ and even ‘friendly,’ the way vampires and demons are perceived as ‘poor, put-upon, misunderstood’ creatures. But there were some things in here that I hadn’t even thought about, such as: Every time the Bible mentions a dragon, when it’s not saying something like ‘in the place of the dragon,’ it is speaking about them in a villain’s light. In the Bible, dragons are ‘the bad guy.’ As are snakes. I thought this was interesting, and certainly explains all the attempts to make dragons ‘the good guys.’ I thought there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with good dragons. Nothing. But I hadn’t realized the Bible’s stance on them! It really was eye-opening – I’ll have to ponder that. I don’t think it’s necessarily ‘bad’ to redeem dragons. Also, he pointed out how warped Madeline L’Engle’s writing is . I LOVE a Wrinkle in Time. LOVE. But there are things in there that had slipped past me, such as the Happy Medium. What are we thinking!? A MEDIUM!? Even my mom confessed that she hadn’t thought about it either. Also, in A Door in the Wind, which I haven’t read, at the end, do you know what Meg does to defeat the demons? She names them – as herself. “You are me. You are Meg.” And embraces them as part of her. 

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WHAT!? And that’s okay??? I was shocked. Also, guess what? Genies are derived from the jinni from Middle-eastern folklore as – guess what? DEMONS. That’s right, DEMONS. So Aladdin? Not so okay! My mom pointed out “So, maybe Quai-gon Jinn has something to do with that?” I don’t know for sure, of course, but it’s a mite suspicious. I HIGHLY recommend this book. It’s not very expensive, but even if it was, it is WELL worth it, ESPECIALLY FOR WRITERS. That’s why my Mom and Dad bought it for me. And let me tell you – it has changed the way I view books and writing. Seriously. 

Now, I don’t agree with everything he has to say – I rarely do. I don’t agree with his view on ‘all bad guys must be pure evil’ stance. I believe that characters like Oscariath, who are the allegorical Satans and evil incarnate, should be totally bad with no sympathy involved. But henchmen, such as Caranthir, who were seduced and deceived, SHOULD have a pitiable light if that’s the light you want to put them in. It makes them more 3D, more believable and interesting. I also don’t agree with his views on Star Wars, in that he believes that the dark side/light side is bad. Not really – I find it actually allegorical. But there are some questionable things in the movies, as there are in most everything available to watch or read nowadays. We HAVE to be aware, we HAVE to have spiritual discernment. This doesn’t mean it needs to spoil our fun – of course not! I don’t agree with the Botkin family in that everything you watch must be thoroughly dissected and researched. It’s not ‘entertainment’ when you do that, it’s studying. But I DO believe we need to have our biblical world view ticking as we read, watch, or listen to EVERYTHING! 

But, arguments aside, on nearly all points the author had very, very good things to say. This book was AWESOME, and it only takes about an hour to read. 

I know, not everything in it will sound attractive, but most if it is grounded in the Bible and therefore can’t be ignored or pushed aside. 

Run with the wind, go with God, 

Ëarwen 

P.S. At the conference, I bought the book “Robin Hood” by Paul Creswick and illustrated by N. C. Wyath – collectible! Also a book on Robin Hood origin and legend, etc. and another book… hmm… I”ll review it when I finish it ^_^ And I also got to see Julia from Julia’s Journal for the third time! She is such a lovely, sweet girl and her jewelery is SO beautiful! (Very elvish).

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7 thoughts on “Friendly Dragons, Moral Nightmares: The Battle for Your Child’s Imagination

  1. The part about witches, vampires, demons, I completely agree!
    However, I don’t have a problem with “redeeming” dragons, as it were. Example: in my legends, I have two “species” of dragons. One is clearly evil and they wreak havoc, but the other is good and their purpose is to help people. And the differences are blatantly clear in my writing. Another example: Bryan Davis. He took dragons back to the creation and they were given the choice of staying good or becoming evil.
    But yes, the Bible does use dragons and snakes and “the leviathan” as evil creatures.
    I never knew that about genies, though! I guess that’s why I was never too fond of Aladdin.
    But YES YES YES!!! We have to be careful! These days, everyone is searching for something spiritual, but they’re looking in all the wrong places!
    Just today, I picked up a book with an interesting cover; it was all golden and shiny 😀 anyway… as I was reading the summary, I thought “wow this sounds really cool” but then I came across the word “vampire” and immediately stopped and put it back on the shelf and said “no thanks” (not out loud, of course)
    Anyway… Sorry so long.
    Good post! Thought provoking, as I’m sure I’ve demonstrated!

  2. I’ve been thinking about the ‘dragon thing,’ too – I love Bryan Davis and think he did a great job with Dragons. I’ll have to give it some more thought ^_^

  3. Wow, sounds interesting, Earwen. ^_^ I hadn’t thought about that much…though I’ve never had to deal with it in my writing, since I’ve never included any mythological creatures. That book sounds thought-provoking. I might have to see if our library system has it.

    N.C. and Andrew Wyeth are my and my mom’s favorite contemporary artists. Look up “Trodden Weed,” by Andrew Wyeth. I actually have a print of it…though I’ve yet to hang it up. ^o^

    ~Avarona

  4. I’ve always thought of snakes as the bad guy – even if they are awesome – but dragons are a new one for me. I’m with you on all evil bad guys, Earwen. A character has to have more than one dimension or they’d be boring.

  5. I agree with everything you said…. except I also think that Dragons can be good….. after all, there are Demons, but also Angels….so that could be an allegory, depending on the author. But I have to give it more thought.Anyway, great post! thanks!

    Celine

    p.s. Never knew about the origin of Genies. Wow.

  6. Yeah, I agree with Celine, I never knew that about genies!! Well, they always have been kind of creepy:). And on the whole “villains have to be totally bad” thing, I agree with you. Having a vulnerable villain with more than just evilness is really cool. If ya know what I mean:P

  7. I’ve always thought that the Bible was kinda neutral on dragons, or at least in those verses in…Job, is it?

    That’s really interesting about Genies!

    Oh, and sorry I haven’t commented much on your blog. WordPress is a little hard to keep up with *sigh*.

    How do you do the thing where you have the 2 dots above the ‘E’ in your name? You said once on your blogger blog, but one day it just slipped out of my head.

    Wonderful, eye-opening, brain-engaging post!

    Izori

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