Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Only Unforgivable Thing

Marillion has a song called The Only Unforgivable Thing, and it's one of my favorite songs ever. It is beautiful, sad, honest, scary and it has a sense of catharsis to it. I always end up feeling so much better after having listened to that song. They have other songs like it, Neverland probably being their most famous catharsis song. But this isn't an entry about Marillion, though they go on tour this weekend, and I'm not going to be there...a thought that keeps bringing me to my knees, but, silver lining, my soulmate has promised to come with me to the next Marillion weekend, so I'll be satisfied, though I suspect a  few green thoughts this weekend. But in true Much Ado About Shakespeare style, I'm rambling on about things that hardly is the point. My point with this entry is; what is the only unforgivable thing? Oh, yes, welcome to one of the serious entries. I'm aware I haven't posted in a while, let's just say it's been a rather busy autumn, and not only in a good way. So why, do you ask, is the first entry since summer a serious one? Well, I think it has to be, because life isn't always fun and games.

What is the only unforgivable thing, and can we find it in the literature we so dearly love? Yes, without a shadow of a doubt, the literature I love, and talk about here, is full of characters faced with the choice of do or don't, the only unforgivable thing.
Aragorn takes two lifetimes to decide not to do the only unforgivable thing. He has avoided his fate long enough, and finally, at the black gates, he emerges as his true self. The true king of Gondor, Isildur's heir... and better yet, Elendil's heir, the first human king to fight Sauron.
Gollum is consumed by the only unforgivable thing, he cannot save himself. Even when Frodo "tames" him, he's still his own biggest enemy, and he is above anyone else Lord Of The Rings' tragic character, and falls under his own desire to follow his only desire. Not that following ones own desire is a bad thing, but when a desire for own gain becomes more important than, say, love and being surrounded by family and friends, then you end up losing.
Frodo almost loses that battle. Had Gollum not been there, Frodo's mind would have been lost to greed. Instead he loses a finger, which is a fair loss come to think of it. A loss I think he's happy about in hindsight. A finger for ones sanity, an easy choice, or is it?
Iago in Shakespeare's Othello is so jealous and so racist that he can't function as a normal human being. He can't enjoy his own life because a man he doesn't deem worthy has more power than himself. The only thing on his mind is to hurt the Moorish Othello. And the colour of his skin is highly important here. In his mind it is wrong that a Moor can have wealth and prosperity, and a beautiful wife as such. And, spoiler alert, he manages to ruin Othello's life, and Desdemona dies at Othello's hand. What makes a man (because this doesn't only happen in the stories of old) be so jealous of someone that he's willing to destroy both his own life and the life of the one he's envious of? Is there some kind of poetic justice I don't understand? What makes people hold on to grudge for years and years?
Some old disagreement makes the Capulets and the Montagues fight until two children dies (because Romeo and Juliet were thirteen year olds). And why should someone feel the need to decide who another person can or cannot see and love? What gives someone that kind of power? We are all in capacity of one true possession in life, our own life. We do not own anything or anyone else. So what gives people that kind of power?

I am being a bit too serious, I sense... But I think these are important questions to ask. I have just as much right to my place on this planet as Obama, or men in power (because statistics show that there are far more male leaders than female - I live in a country with a female leader, but I don't much care about her political views, she's against sharing and general human compassion, not to get political in any ways...). We should never excuse our existence, not to people in our close social groups, or to our governments. We are all children of the earth, and all of us came naked and full of prosperity into this world. A poor child in Sudan has just as much of a claim to his place on this planet as a child in wealthy Norway.

Though they manage to sort through it in the end (because it 's a comedy), both Beatrice and Benedict are victims of pride. They both know, deep down, that the other one is their other half, but they choose to bicker and quarrel for a while before finally seeing the truth. The truth is that they were born to spend their lives together, and they will only be happy once they realise said truth.
And having entered the word truth in this, we are close to something. Because what is unforgivable for one person is maybe completely okay for another person. We can also talk about truth in society vs truth inside the four walls of our homes. Some people find it perfectly acceptable to beat the crap out of spouses and children. We can argue that they have inner demons, but when is it acceptable to abuse someone else's God given body and right to dignity and life? When? No matter someone's past, what gives them the right? "I was beaten myself, so I hit people"...? Yet, people live in these conditions, sometimes a lifetime, and accept it. How so? Is that the only unforgivable thing?
Is it the only unforgivable thing to lie down in self pity, blaming the world for our own shortcomings? Sometimes we actually have to kick ourselves in the backside and get over ourselves. I'm obviously not talking about people who are ill, and need rest, love and care. But then again surfaces another dilemma, when is it up to other people to judge when enough is enough? Is that something other people can decide?
So, is the only unforgivable thing to bee a victim of the seven sins of the bible? I think we as human beings all fall short if this is the rule of the universe. I personally think it's not that easy. And lust, for one, is not only a bad thing, if you ask me. And the others can be quite handy as well, when used controlled, and not taking over ones entire being. Determining what is unforgivable is difficult.

I actually think that the only unforgivable thing is denying oneself a chance to be as good as one can. No matter the situation, country we're born in, the prospect of future we're faced with, to be anything less than we can is unforgivable. Not on a global scale, not in a society scale, not even in the scale of four walls... but on a highly personal scale. A person who use violence knows it's wrong. A person who do drugs knows it's wrong, a person who cheats on someone knows it's wrong,  a person who lies knows it's wrong... a person who kills knows it's wrong, deep down, we all know matter the cause, we all know! I know this sounds a bit naive and silly, but as we have an obligation to the mutual good of our society, we also have an obligation towards ourselves. We have an obligation to be the best we that we can. And no one can do it for us. And that is, I think, the only unforgivable thing, to give in to, and blame, everything else in the world, than to look to the only one who can make the changes that needs to come.
Only YOU can change you x x

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sonnet for my beloved

Tonight it sunk in, I finally saw
I could see with your eyes for the first time
The truth was kept from me, brutal and raw
I kept it from me, it was my own crime

Tonight it made sense, those years spent in fear
Fearing the mirror, that brutal judgement
Your voice in my head, the words I can hear
Enlightenment, now I knew what you meant

You see what I never dared to believe
You see what I considered disappeared
Having lost it, I thought I had to grieve
A future of sadness I would have feared

I get it now, I can see what you see
As I can see your beauty, you see me…

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Top Ten Tolkien Characters

Before I start, I just want to specify that these choices are my very subjective choices, and I'm well aware they might be on a different planet than what the general views are, and I might even have misunderstood completely what I've read and gotten things wrong. But they represent my choices nonetheless. And also, these might not be my favorite characters in six months... but at this given point in time, they are my favorites.
For me, the Tolkien universe embodies the ultimate flight from the grey everyday existence that sometimes is my life, the absolute opposite to my real. So, writing this is quite hard, as it means incredibly much to me, but here goes.
And it probably would be considered good form to give you a big spoiler alert. If you haven't read Silmarillion, The Hobbit or Lord Of The Rings, and plan to, this might not be the entry to read ;-)

And before I start, I probably should mention Frodo, and of course I like him, both him and Bilbo. They are two tormented souls, troubled by the malice of the ring. But to me this entry is about more than Lord of the Rings. This is about all the wonderful stories, and then I have to make a selection, and in the top ten, they don't make the cut.

10. Manwë
Manwë is one of the Ainur, one of the holy ones. He is one of the eternal created by Eru, or Iluvatar, at the very beginning, before there was a middle earth. Their creator gave them some chords, and then they started to sing. As they sang, Manwë's brother, Melkor, wanted to create harmonies of his own, and forced those closest to him to sing in his chosen key, so to speak. But just as the entire choir was singing in disharmony, Eru gave them new chords to fill with soul and thought. Needless to say, Melkor is the personification of evil, or was it individuality (it starts off as individuality, but ends up as malice and evil and the wish to destroy and corrupt).
Melkor's brother, Manwë, is the god of the air, and is in my interpretation the God all living creatures turn to in the name of good. You might not have heard about him before, but if you have seen the films, you will have encountered his wonderful eagles. They will follow and protect so many of the main characters to come. They were central in Gondolin, the hidden land, and they are seriously connected to Gandalf both in The Hobbit and in the final battle of the ring of power.
Manwë to me is more of an idea than a character. He is Eru's power on earth, and functions as the God in Middle Earth. He lives on the highest place in Valionr with his spouse Varda. She is the keeper of the stars.

9. Thorin Oakenshield
Thorin Oakenshield is one of the most bad ass characters in the world. He is stubborn like a true dwarf, he is full of knowledge, he is full of hatred and devouring emotions, but he is also able to repent and find a certain absolution, with the help of a hobbit (obviously). And though I'm mostly talking about the books in this entry, to overlook the epic movies of Peter Jackson would be close to idiocy, so the hotness of Richard Armitage helps a lot when I pick my ten favorite characters from Middle Earth. Now all that remains is to send my positive vibes to New Zealand, and lovingly force Peter Jackson to give Silmarillion a go as well :-) (though I feel I might not get that particular wish granted as it is one big task to take on) But getting slightly off track here. I wanted to add a little detail about the dwarves. In the prophecy Eru made, he saw the elves as the firstborn. And in a utopia version of all things, people do as they are told, and don't go on mucking things up by thinking on their own. But Aulë does just that, mucking things up. He's slightly inferior to Manwë and his ocean lord brother, Ulmo, being caught up in creating things. He is described in the book as a little bit simple, if that's fair.  He is a smith, and at one point he got tired of waiting for the firstborns, and fashioned them from his own mind, out of stone. This resulted in the dwarves, and they were awakened before the children of the stars, and for a brief second Eru wanted Aulë to destroy them as a punishment for the disobedient behaviour, but he took pity on them and sent them back to sleep. But the fact that Aulë created the dwarves on his own, meant that they didn't have the full understanding of the mechanics of the world, they would forever more have only Aulë's perspective, and this serves as a fair explanation to why they are as stubborn as they are.
So why is it that I like Thorin so much? He is a stubborn and proud being. He forces men and elves to go to war over something as ordinary as gold. He refuses to see even Gandalf's point. But then in the end, he listens to a small hobbit, and fights for the freedom of the good side in the last battle. He redeems himself completely, and dies a hero. He represents everything I look for in a good literary character. He is troubled because of his history, he is kind, but he hides his kind side to a more harsh and determined disposition. He is a leader, but it's sometimes difficult to follow his lead, as he doesn't always know where he's going. He gets lost in his own selfishness, but his good heart and his deeply hidden reason wins in the end... To write a character one would love, yet want to shake a bit along the way, and cry for hours when dies, now that takes talent.

8. Lúthien
The elven princess who fell in love with a human. The story of Beren and Lúthien is probably my favorite story from Silmarillion. It describes true love and what you would do if true love is in your heart. Also, and this is so heartbrakingly beautiful that it brings a tear to my eye, on Tolkien's tomb stone he and his wife are the real life Beren and Lùthien.
What always fascinated me about Lúthien was her bravery. She is not afraid to walk into hell to save her loved one. She does so against advice from her family, and she does so almost all alone. A big dog called Huan helps her out. Beren, you see, has been sent by Thingol, Lúthien's kingly father, to fetch one of the stolen Silmarils from Morgoth's crown. And because he loves Lúthien so endlessly, he does what he is told, and is of course captured. But the thing is, the silmarils have been cursed, and as soon as someone desires them, they are in for trouble.
But Lúthien is one of the most powerful of the Noldo there are. Her voice is magic, and with her magical singing voice she fights none other than Sauron, and she defeats him. But they still have to get the Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth, and they manage this at great cost. And throughout the whole ordeal what saves them, Beren and Lúthien, is their pure and deep love.
I remember reading this story for the first time, and I just completely cried my eyes out. Not because I was sad, there was another element present. It is a sad story, but it has a cathartic feel to it, and that's why I didn't feel sad first and foremost, but overwhelmed. And this doesn't change just because I have read it many times since. The element of something larger than life is always present in the most precious of love stories ever written. It even challenges Romeo and Juliet.

7. Arwen
From the first time I read Lord Of The Rings I loved Arwen. She holds some of the same eternal and elusive features as Lúthien, and the story of the elven princess falling in love with a mortal man is repeated with Arwen when she falls in love with Aragorn. These two love stories are love stories as they should always be, where the two lovers are so deeply in love with the other person that the love is of an eternal and life changing character. And though the story of Arwen and Aragorn is a bit shorter in the book than in the films, it is all there in the appendix. We can read how Arwen chooses a mortal life, and how she goes into the empty forrest of Lothlorien when Aragorn dies, and lies down by the trees of her grandmother, Galadriel, to sleep because all the other elves have left for Valinor. She chooses an eternity in solitude for a few mortal years with Aragorn.
Arwen as a character is interesting. The brilliant story from the book, how she travels from Rivendell with a banner showing Aragorn he should be king is a fantastic twist to the story, and it should have been a part of the films. Because she never falls ill and almost dies as long as the ring endures, not in the books anyway. She is Elrond's daughter, she is Eärendil's grand daughter, she is incredibly powerful, she is Arwen Undomiel, the evning star.

6. Pippin
Peregrin Took is one of the characters in The Lord Of The Rings that remain true and pure throughout the story. He is the little rascal that doesn't always get things right. But his heart is always in the right place. Gandalf goes through both the book and the films calling him "A Fool Of A Took", but I have a strong feeling Gandalf really likes the little troublemaker, and that every time he tells him off, it is done from a fatherly loving point of view. I think Gandalf might have an even softer spot for Pippin than for any of the other hobbits, but being old and sometimes grumpy, it's expressed through a slight annoyance.
So, Pippin, he ends up one of the tallest hobbits in the Shire from drinking the water in Fangorn Forrest, and the taller you are as a hobbit, the higher the social status. Having faced mortal peril and basically saved Middle Earth as well is probably helping the social status thing. Pippin comes home to The Shire a changed hobbit, and not only physically. He has seen horrors no one has seen, and he stood his ground. He almost lost his best friend at the slopes of Pelennor, but the hobbits all live to fight another day. And though everything changes for them when they return to The Shire, having to chase Saruman and Grima Wormtongue out of Bag End and The Shire (yes, to those of you who didn't read the book, Saruman doesn't die like he does in the film...he's an Istari wizard, he's a demigod...), he keeps his pure and childlike mind to the very end.

5. Aragorn
The true heir to the throne of Arnor and Gondor. The white tree of the Dúnedain will only come alive when a true Numenorian sits on the throne.
The ring Aragorn is wearing on his finger used to belong to Beren, who got it from the house of Finarfin, just a little fun fact.
Aragorn was raised in Rivendell by the half elf Elrond, son of Eärendil the mariner...and in Rivendell he meets the love of his life, the elven princess, Arwen Undomiel, the evening star. As her grandfather is the elven kind's most beloved star, she is, by her birth alone, a beacon of light in Aragorn's life. But Elrond will not allow a marriage between the two until Aragorn dares to ascend the throne. He does so after having fought in the second war of the ring.
Aragorn is the ultimate hero. Noble, troubled, brave, and most of all, incredibly loyal. One might think that all these trades makes a hero one dimensional, but it doesn't. He's one of the most interesting characters in the history of literature. He's brought up in the world of elves, he fears the blood of his forefathers, he is known as a ranger, Strider, he knows the way of nature and herbs, he's bi-lingual, and speak the language of the elves, he's the man that the fellowship trusts when Gandalf isn't there...but he's also the one they trust when Gandalf is there. He has been hiding for Sauron for a long time, but after the battle at Helms Deep, he makes his presence known to the enemy, and as the Numenorians were the ones who fought Sauron in the first war of the ring, Sauron actually fears Aragorn. And he doesn't faint from the strain of making his presence known, as he does in the film, he stands tall, and grows stronger and stronger as the story goes towards its last fight by the black gate.

4. Gandalf
Gandalf is one of the Istari. A demigod with powers far greater than presented in the films. He is a maian spirit, and has been on Middle Earth since the very beginning. His names are many. His first name was Olórin, and he lived in the gardens of Lórien, the master of dreams, in the Undying Lands. After a while he was chosen to be one of the five Istari wizards. As an Istari he is forbidden to make it known he is a maiar spirit. The Istari were placed on Middle-Eart as a protection to the great evil growing, in the time when Morgoth and Sauron joined forces. Gandalf is second in command in the Istari order. One white, Saruman, one grey, Gandalf, one brown, Radagast and two blue, Alatar and Pallando. On Middle Earth, he is known as Gandalf the Grey, Mithrandir to the elves, Tharkûn to the dwarves, Incánus to the Haradrim, The Grey Pilgrim, and in the end, Gandalf The White.
He is the protector of one of the elven rings, Narya, the ring of fire. The three elven rings are protected by Gandalf, Galadriel and Elrond, and that is probably why the three of them manage to withstand the power of Sauron's ring.
Gandalf is a complex character, and that is why I love him. He is one of the eternals, and he remains true to himself until he once again is allowed back to The Undying Lands, at the end of the second war of the ring.
Gandalf has always fascinated me. He is witty, he is pragmatic and practical. He has a lot of love for the little people, and by that I don't mean the hobbits, but the seemingly insignificant participants of any story. He would in a modern story be the one who saw the silent child in the schoolyard, he would be the one who picked up on injustice and cruelty, and he would not chicken out if he got a chance to right wrongs.

3. Fëanor
Fëanor is the fiery elven smith that took the living light from the trees of Valinor and forged them into three out of this world gems, called the Silmarils. Their light is of such power that they have to be locked inside a cave. But of course Morgoth desires the stones, as all creatures on Middle Earth and in Valinor.
Fëanor had a fire within him that could not be harnessed, and he might have come across as proud and angry, dangerous even, but his intentions were good and he put these into the creation of the stones.
But he was a craftsman of high power. The first thing he made were the Elven-gems, crystals filled with starlight. He also made the Palantíri, the seeing stones. But it was the forging of the Silmarils that changed the whole history of both Eldamar (Valinor) and Middle Earth. The desire to own them became so overwhelming to everyone, Fëanor included, that they became The Ring Of Power times a million.
Morgoth (previously named Melkor, but the Silmarils burned his face and he lost his beauty, and was given a new name) managed to steal the Silmarils, and Fëanor as a retaliation led the elves loyal to him across Helcraxe to Middle Earth in pursuit of Morgoth and his army of orcs. But Fëanor was in the end slain by the Balrog called Gothmog.
Later, the war of the Silmarils would rage for centuries. It ended only when all the gems were lost. Only one remained, and it was placed on the forehead of Eärendil, the mariner, who sails the evening sky as the brightest star.

2. Sam
How can one go in detail about one of the most heroic characters in the history of literature? Samwise Gamgee, the gardener. Frodo would not have survived for long had it not been for Sam.
Sam is briefly a ring bearer, and for this he is allowed to enter Valinor in the end, where he reunites with his master, his companion, his friend.
In the films I feel that the relationship between the two is a bit characteristic, and it might be ridiculed. But in my mind, both book and film are showing two best friends, and their love is that of brothers. Sam starts out as the little brother, but he makes a promise to Gildor, the elf (not Gandalf as in the film), to look after Frodo, and he stays true to his promise to the bitter end. He is the personification of loyalty, and also of unconditional love. The bond between Frodo and Sam can resemble that of soldiers in war. Some might say they have a gay relationship, but I think it's more of a brotherly relationship. Frodo is the slight senior character, but through the journey he realises that he would have perished without Sam. The thing is that the Ring is weighing him down, altering his personality, so he isn't able to show Sam just how much he appreciate his help. but he leaves Bag End to Sam.
When the eagles save them out of Mordor, he remains, true and pure. One might argue he's a bit two dimensional, but I think the story would have been far darker and more hopeless without his part. And I cannot remember ever being more moved in my whole cinematic life than when Sam picks Frodo up and carries him the last bit. That shines for me, with the help of the beautiful music, the lighting, the angling, everything, as the point of the whole trilogy.

1. Eärendil
The mariner.... Middle Earth's most beloved star...
It's hard to decide why I love Eärendil so much, he is a bit of a troublemaker, but he is a very lovely and determined troublemaker. And his heart holds so much love for his family and his kin, making him one of the most loyal characters from the stories.
Half man, half elf, and the biggest dragon slayer Middle Earth ever saw. Eärendil is the father of Elrond, and Elrond's twin brother Elros. By Manwë the family, Eärendil, Elwing, Elrond and Elros were allowed to choose their own fate. Elros chose that of a mortal, but with the life span of five centuries. Elrond, as we know, chose to be an elf. Eärendil and Elwing chose to be judged as elves, as they had to be punished for entering the undying lands uninvited. And when ever they enter Aman, The Undying Lands, Valinor, and walk up to Taniquetil where Manwë sits, I get chills all over. And managing the task of entering the holy land with no invitation is quite the accomplishment.  It might sound like a punishment, but for Eärendil, sailing his ship, the Vigilot, across the evening sky forever, becoming the flame of the west, the Evening Star... "I give you the light of Eärendil, our most beloved star".

My referencing literature for this entry has been:

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord Of The Rings
Jackson, The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Two Towers, The Return Of The King, The Hobbit (An Unexpected Journey)
David Day,  Tolkien, The Illustrated Encyclopedia

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer bliss

Again I find myself in a busy summer situation, where every thought of writing and creating just slips away in wet sand, salty waves, and sunny thoughts.
My mind wanders to the lovely land of bright fairytale islands where butterfly boats float on the sea as a shattered rainbow on the sparkling evening water
My dreams are sitting on a sandy beach surrounded by velvet air, disappearing in the words and strength of his beautiful mind.
Every thought of getting lost in my own words and tales are left in the pages of summer stories and imaginary worlds of love and wonder.
Every idea is stored for the autumn, while the now discovers the self all a new.
Every longing feeling of love is stretching across water to my lovely England where I left my heart.

Friday, July 12, 2013


I've been busy so long now, that I almost feel I have lost all of my readers... but for some very nice reason, I see you're clicking in, reading my posts. I am very flattered. I have two very interesting posts coming up. One brilliant list of my favorite characters from the Tolkien universe (I have picked the characters, I just need to sit down and write why I've picked them and what their role is, and also add why I feel so strongly about them.), and one entry that I'll treat as a paper at university, where I'll look at the heroes in The Lord Of The Rings.
So, don't give up on me just yet. I am still here, and I'm writing every day :)

In the meantime, have a good summer x

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Perception Of The Real In Peter Pan And The Matrix

The Perception Of The Real In Peter Pan And The Matrix: Locating The Space Where Human Nature Can Be Accessed Untouched

“Reality is something that you rise above. We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are []
(Marillion 1999

With faith through ideology, we try to make sense of the always-changing foundation and perception of the real, of dreams and of the unconscious. When we let ourselves be overwhelmed by existential questions and conundrums, searching for an answer might be daunting. Through culture, we leave our fingerprints of ideology for new individual and common interpretations to be formed in the generations to come. The artists, as legislators of the world, transcend or challenge ideology to provide a bridge to the real, taking us both ways. Things are almost never what they seem, and we always see the world as we are, basing our own interpretations of the real on our own experiences through life. Let us attempt to find that defining moment in our texts when human nature can be accessed untouched, outside the illusion of constructed realities and outside dreams.
            The mechanics of the world have been given personifications as long as people have been able to make definitions representing their thoughts. Among other things, we refer to our earth as a mother. In Greek mythology the sun and the moon were the children of the titans. Atlas carried the sky on his shoulders, and Orpheus could make rocks and trees move with his song and his lyre. These creations could have been there to serve as explanations for earthquakes, or wind, or something as simple as changes in the weather.
            We do not really have a universal way of conveying what can only be sensed, like thoughts, dreams and the unconscious. The chaos of the unconscious can be difficult to mediate to the world. What we do have are our understandings of words, languages and cultures, and through them we try to grasp the silent and the elusive with definitions, imagination and metaphors. In literary genres like fairytales, Sci-Fi and Fantasy we meet the more modern kind of mythology. They are texts that explore worlds and universes where interpretations of reality exist outside the common interpretation we can relate to. “The topography, themes and myths of the fantastic all work together to suggest this movement towards the realm of non-signification, towards a zero point of non-meaning.” (Rosemary Jackson 2003:42) When leaving the rational world of common rules for what reality may or may not be, we enter a realm where only the signified, the image, knows the experience.
Signifier and signified, the word and the connotations the words give, lead us through the maze of impressions like an individual guiding star, equipping us with tools to explain the silent and the unexplainable in dreams and the unconscious. The words can become almost obsolete and difficult to find when facing the sublime dream experience.

The texts chosen to search for the place where human nature can be accessed untouched, are, Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie, first published in novel form in 1911. And The Matrix, by Lana (Laurence “Larry”) and Andrew Paul “Andy” Wachowski, which premiered on cinemas in 1999. Both texts leave the common perception of what represents the real and the untouched behind. “Since we have no access to the world that is not mediated by thought or language, what independent check have we upon the reliability of what we think or say?” (A dictionary of Sociology 2009:633) Literature challenges the way we see reality, the way we perceive reality and discuss reality. Literature acts as one of those mediating elements between the unconscious and the real, it is one of those places where a human mind can be in the real and in the dream at the same time and still be awake. Our protagonists, Peter Pan and Neo also have this ability, operating within the different realities each narrative present.
            Morpheus is the ancient Greek god of dreams, and Neo remains at Morpheus’ mercy throughout the story. “You take the red pill, and you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”[1] (The Matrix 1999:Morpheus) The red pill is meant to be a tracing program making the people in the real world able to locate the real Neo in the fields where human beings are grown. But in this thesis the red pill becomes a metaphor for Peter Pan and Morpheus, Pan being the Greek god of the wild. Through the red pill, they become the element enabling the illusions and simulations to unfold.

What unites the texts is that they comprise a critique of ideology. According to Terry Eagleton, the author of Ideology, An Introduction, to define ideology as a clarifying one is a very difficult task. One definition can be “The process of production of meanings, signs and values in social life.” (Eagleton 2007:1) which is a broad definition that could translate to, a group of people joined in the mutual understanding of conduct. It attempts to explain the mechanics of the world by trying to answer the big questions in life. Ideology can hold all the answers for one person, and be completely incomprehensible to another. It might not be a choice, rather a way of life set by state leaders, almost a state discourse. It becomes pivotal to follow these state choices of thought at the risk of punishment and death. We can also talk about ideological revelations, spiritual awakenings where the solution and the answer to life’s secrets, questions and truths lie. But it can also be a “Socially necessary illusion” (Eagleton 2007:2), which could mean that we are indeed letting ourselves be fooled, because Eagleton further characterises it as a question of power. “[] The term is forceful and informative only if it helps us to distinguish between those interests and power conflicts which at any given time are fairly central to a whole social order, and those which are not” (Eagleton 2007:10). People standing on the outside of ideology, represented by the people still hooked into the Matrix, will not comprehend what it is all about. As long as man has a choice, to choose ignorance is perfectly acceptable. Once one has woken up, one can never go back.  
            According to Laurence Coupe, in Myth (1997:2-3) there are four kinds of myths, the fertility myth, the deliverance myth, the hero myth and the creation myth. The creation myth is attempting to explain how the world came into existence. In Neverland the Never bird build their nests in the shape of a tarpaulin hat because Peter Pan on one occasion saved a Never bird and its eggs from drowning by placing them in one. (Barrie 1995:103) This is an example of a Creation Myth. But both Peter Pan and The Matrix might be considered Hero Myths. A prophecy concerning Neo’s future makes his life a challenge, but he fulfils it in the end. Peter Pan could be considered an antihero, the reluctant saviour, but he bravely takes up his sword and fight at the risk of his own life on a daily basis. There is no prophecy in Peter Pan, but the stories about him have found their way to the place we call reality. “The relationship between myth and ideology is not easy to determine. Are myths the ideologies of pre-industrial societies, or ideologies the myths of industrial ones?” (Eagleton 2007:188) When looking into the Norse and Greek mythology, it is easy to assume that they were there to serve a purpose e.g. as an explanation of natural phenomena to frightened children. Other myths were fashioned to teach lessons, or to ‘parent’ the followers or believers. The myth about Herakles (Hercules) could very well have been made simply to entertain. And eventually, the gods of old were not the creators of the universe or the world. They were fallible and often made a mess out of situations, thus creating stories to be told through the centuries, managing to create a balance between hard every day life and the vivid dream world.

Neo is an anagram of One.  Neo is, according to prophecy, supposed to be “The One” (The Matrix 1999). “Mr. Anderson, you’ve been living two lives” (Matrix 1999:Agent Smith) In the illusion Neo’s name is Thomas Anderson. It is almost a name of absolute anonymity, but it is also a name of doubt and duality. So his hacker name, Neo, becomes a beacon of hope, faith and unity. Neo can also mean new. He is like a newborn in the real world, and according to Morpheus everything he thought he knew is wrong. He is a tabula raza, and the real world becomes his buildungsroman. Neo meets the expectations connected to his mystical myth and his personal experiences. He learns faster than anyone before him, and is referred to as a machine, suggesting he is connected to both realities. According to the machines, as the story unfolds, Neo is the anomaly in the programming. This renders his physical appearance and mental presence a puzzle as well as a paradox. He should not be there, but he is. He is his own Neverland, and in this perspective he becomes a tragic character. He is not supposed to be there, so in the end he cannot. This makes him an opposite to Peter Pan, as Peter chooses to remain a boy, never writing anything in his book of life, as he forgets what was there the next day. Peter Pan is unchangeable as stone, but he always prevails to find new adventures.
By following the white rabbit and the second star to the right, we are invited to join in on two journeys of spiritual awakening. In The Journey Of The Magi (Eliot 1927 [2008:2060]), the travellers are undertaking a spiritual and physical journey towards enlightenment. The journey is far from pleasant, and they experience substantial suffering on their way to the goal. But the hardest part is when they return from the journey, fully enlightened, having met the Son of God, not certain how to mediate their newfound truth. The ignorant will not care for guiding stars or jumping rabbits, they might call it a ridiculous choice and be almost impossible to convince. The magnitude of these new truths must be substantial if any person is to uphold faith surrounded by those who doubt, or completely reject the thought.

Both texts are representatives for a Gnostic world-view, but The Matrix in particular. Gnosis is Greek and means those who have knowledge. “Since the Gnostic message conceives itself as the counter-move to the design of the world, as the call intended to break its spell, the metaphor of sleep, or its equivalents, is a constant component of the typical Gnostic appeals to man, which accordingly present themselves as calls of ‘awakening’.” (Jonas 2001:70-71) The ones kept on the outside of this knowledge still in slumber, are ignorant to the shadowy world they are forced to live in. As far as they are concerned they live in the real world. They are blissfully unaware of the truth that is being kept from them. To find the answers to mysteries of life means leaving pure and blissfully unaware parts of the soul behind, and it is almost like coming back from years of unconsciousness, or even ignorance. Hans Jonas discusses this in his book about The Gnostic Religion. The awakening process is not easy, and being faced with a new truth can be frightening and absurd. Leaving behind that which is comfortable and familiar is not for everyone. But wrapping the mind around a new truth, and finding serenity and peace with a new reality is like coming back from the dead. Gnosticism emphasises that reality is an illusion, and the place where we can actually BE is located somewhere else or is inaccessible to us because we are all asleep. Neverland is located somewhere else, and most of the people in The Matrix are asleep. But there could also be a third alternative. The elevated real, where we are untouched by all the noise and all the outside influence, located somewhere away from the dream and the real entirely.
            Neo is given a choice to play by the rules, but he has the courage to show Agent Smith what he thinks of him through rude gestures, causing him to end up in a nightmare within the dream that already has him captured. This is how he chooses to explain the bugging incident to himself. This is something we all do. We try to reason with our own unconscious experiences, shaking them off as nightmares and things that just are.
             There are those in The Matrix that can feel something is wrong with the world, mostly people who are operating within the reality they are presented with, plus working with computers on a higher level, making them capable of peeking at The Matrix, but lacking the means to do something concrete about it. In terms of power it is ambivalent and confusing as to who really has the power to control the world, and with control we are talking about who are controlling thought and perception of reality. Who eventually holds this power is never really clear. It could be the machines, it could be a group of individuals in the real world, it could be Morpheus, and it could very well be Neo himself. “[] We shall find that in Gnostic thought the world takes the place of the traditional underworld and is itself already the realm of the dead, that is, of those who have to be raised to life again.” (Hans Jonas 2001:68). With this in mind, the awakening of Neo represents a rebirth. The texts take on reality is in reference to what was before, and what is now. To see reality only in the now, never remembering the past, will make it infinitely in flux. The new birth into a new space cannot come unless the past is present.
But Neo’s awakening is not an endearing and beautiful rebirth into knowledge and understanding. The scene is actually in conflict with itself. One could easily interpret the tubes he is pushed through like a birth canal. He is naked, he is confused and it involves pain. And in a romanticised world it probably would be. It is likely to see it like a rejection. He is flushed out from The Matrix like abject, the movie creators even added the sound of a flushing toilet, of no further use to the machines, and he ends up in the sewer. His rebirth is what comes next.  

The post-apocalyptic real in The Matrix, where food is strictly nutritious, tasteless and uninventive “Bowl of snot” (The Matrix 1999:Dozer) serves as a dichotomy to the imaginary Neverland, where each make-believe meal is a feast of colours and tastes. But the food in the dream, within The Matrix, is represented with, among other things, tasty steaks. “There is no spoon” (The Matrix 1999:Potential “One”), but in the illusion one would pick up the spoon and indulge in tasty cakes, and feel better from the taste of Oracle baked cookies. This is one of many uniting features of our two texts, and translates into “The mind makes it real” (The Matrix 1999:Morpheus). As long as you can think it, it happens. If you die in The Matrix, you die in the real world. It is therefore likely to speculate that if you die in Neverland, you die in the real world. This has to do with deception and how ideology almost infects the mind, making us believe what we see even in the unconscious.
In Peter Pan we are, through the magical dream island of Nerverland, introduced to a society where children have the power. The pirates challenge the ownership of the power. But it is never taken away from the children or Peter Pan. There are forces in Neverland that might act as if, they are the higher authority. Hook is the adult in a child’s world, but this might be another deception. “Hook was not his true name. To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country to a blaze []” (Barrie 1995:141). It is easy to suspect that Hook is the personification of the author, making himself a part of his amazing story. But as we are dealing with ideology, metaphors and dreams, questions of reality and the unconscious, we might suspect that Hook is really Peter Pan. Hook is everything Peter loathes with adulthood. But Pan is also somewhat of a mystery even as a child. “- Pan, who and what are thou? he cried huskily. - I’m youth, I’m joy, Peter answered []” (Barrie 1995:158) Youth and joy are the key elements that Hook loathes with Peter. But Hook and Pan are united in the concept of “Good Form” (Barrie 1995:158). They have found that one mutual rule of fighting, living and looking ahead, in Neverland. Breaking it will mean devastation. And for Hook, that is his downfall. He breaks the rules, and ends up as crocodile food. This is an example of the real world seeping through to the dream world.  
The general world-views in Peter Pan are presented in a very traditional way to the contemporary reader. We are in a London and England coming out of the strict Victorian period and entering the early modernistic period with deep traditions still lingering. It is tempting to generalise, because many might get a very clear image, the signified, when presented with a phrase like traditional proper English, but we are not going to. But we could claim that the Victorian Age left the English society a bit confused. The roles the various parts had to play were starting to falter and women suddenly found themselves in a position where their opinions started to matter. They were no longer just the mother or the angel of the house. And in this new society, it is likely to assume that men felt rather confused. Women were no longer confined to the home and gradually became more and more in control of their own lives. But Peter Pan was published as a novel in 1911, and the Victorian Age was still visible on time’s passed horizon. So, in this strict early modern society a grown man, the breadwinner of the family, had a very clear set of rules to live by. Doing something out of the ordinary would end up highly scrutinised and widely talked about.
Both Peter Pan and The Matrix were received in society as something completely new and innovative. And both narratives made people believe in the power of imagination. The stories have a wide range, and they have managed to penetrate the consciousness of the masses. People know who Peter Pan is, people know who Neo is. And the common feelings connected to the timelessness of these stories are examples of how deep a constructed reality can affect the common perception of a society.

Wendy, Michael and John take with them their playful imaginative daytime stories and continue playing while asleep. In that ambivalent moment between the conscious and the unconscious, they find Peter and Neverland. “Wendy and John and Michael stood on tiptoe in the air to get their first sight of the island. Strange to say, the all recognised it at once []” (Barrie 1995:43) As adults we can look back on the Neverland adventures once experienced, but we can go to shore no more.  The different Neverlands are there for all children, serving as an escape to a magic place where they can remain children, remain untouched. Neverland is hard to grasp for an adult mind set in its time and ways.
Time is significant in both texts. The crocodile that swallowed Hook’s arm, and with it his wrist watch, ticks and toks as a constant reminder that time passes in Neverland just as it does everywhere else. Even though time slows down, mildly forcing the citizens of Neverland to live in the now, time will not be stopped completely. Time is a character existing in the void between the stories, present as an inevitable force affecting Neverland, affecting the real worlds and affecting The Matrix. Time is, in The Matrix, present as a confusing, almost a deceiving element. The real world has lost count, and cannot pinpoint the exact year. They can only guess. “You believe it’s the year 1999, when in fact it’s closer to 2199” (The Matrix 1999:Morpheus) Humanity has been driven under ground and has no longer the sun to determine day or night. The prisoners of The Matrix are given a version of a time that is long passed. And like Morpheus showing Neo where to go, what doors to walk through, taking him from one reality to the next, the people still part of The Matrix have only the machines’ version of the past as their present reality. We might say they are caught in a virtual single story, and the few who dare to break free are searching for new sources of information to free their minds.  
Peter does not simply turn up as an invention of Wendy. Wendy’s mother has unconscious memories of this magical boy from Neverland. He owns the kiss in the upper right hand side of her mouth, the kiss Mr. Darling cannot have, because the kiss is Peter Pan. It is not for Peter, it is Peter (Barrie 1995:2). Peter has been around for hundreds of years, making the dream world’s laws of time bleed through to the real world. As he flies in and out of the real, so do the stories about him. Time seemingly stands still in Neverland. After all, it is a place that lingers on the horizon as a paradox by its name alone, Never Land. “[¼] I will never land in Neverland” (Marillion 2004:Marbles, Neverland). Neverland is the place one never really goes to, the place that never happens, the place that never was. Time slows down and ones ability to remember the real world is challenged, as with a dream that withers away in the first waking moments. We cannot be sure if the children spent one second or several months in Neverland, or if they even go there at all. 

By exploring the illusion and simulation of reality in the texts, we become part of the creative process of the dream world. We will get an idea of how reality and dreams are interpreted both through different medias and in different times. The Matrix is a contemporary narrative, post-modernistic and futuristic. And as it is a movie, the visual experience employ the signified, the image. The dialogue is only a fragment of the expression. There is no need for long depicting descriptions. The moviemakers simply show the audience what for example the real looks like.
Both texts represent a dream world that can overtake the common perception of reality, and even numb metaphors and, eventually, language, completely. The texts suggest that though realism and the real should cover every known aspect of life, presented as an all-encompassing truth, it is in fact limited and restricted. All the things we relate ourselves to in order to have order will be limited by the disturbances that dreams and the unconscious stand for.
We are all as sane as we choose to be, and as sane as our version of reality allows us to be. Choices made lead us to where we are in the present. The choices our characters make are shaping the outcome as well as the story itself. Had Tinkerbell not betrayed Wendy, the pirates would probably not have found the Lost Boys’ hiding place. Neo could not become The One before he chose to be. Not before Agent Smith killed him within The Matrix and he chose to wake up again. And in waking up from the dead, he redeems himself as the one lost to the world, as well as fulfilling his own prophecy (Jonas 2001:79).

To speak, to write, to paint, to understand, and even to present definitions, we have to use language. “Language is thus both the concrete manifestation of ideology - the categories in which speakers are authorized to think - and the site of its questioning or undoing.” (Jonathan Culler 2011:61) In myths and storytelling, as books and films represent, we are faced with a different kind of language than we normally use. This is to make us able to mediate things that rational everyday language cannot. How an individual perceives the written and spoken word, has to do with that person’s ability to use and understand language. Through language we also have to decipher all kinds of hidden messages. Philosophers, authors and poets make use of the ambiguity and the metaphors of language, and it is up to the reader to interpret what message is conveyed. We also see examples of this in every day speech. We apply irony and sarcasm to make generic tales interesting. A human able to speak and understand language will at one point make use of metaphors. Language itself, it could be claimed, towers up as the ultimate metaphor, without we would be left with no more than instincts and animalistic behaviour.
In The Matrix a lot of the dialogue is presented as highly enigmatic and esoteric, and one also make use of elevated riddles. We get a feeling there are dangerous secrets so substantial and revolutionary that even before The Matrix is revealed as an illusion, we know very well it is big. The individuals enlightened enough to solve the enigmas will find higher enlightenment still. “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it” (The Matrix 1999:Morpheus) In The Matrix it is hard, or even close to impossible, to “free a mind” when it has reached adulthood. The earlier they wake a human up from the constructed slumber, the easier it is for the soul and the mind to see the truth and then accept it. However, Neo’s mind can only be free when he truly understands what Morpheus is trying to mediate; he, Neo, can no longer be a drone in the constructed reality. The language used is not the rational language connected to everyday and familiar life. The language conceals as much as it reveals. We might even suggest that the true knowledge lies within the riddles and the enigmas, and that the true search is within the mind.
            But through language humanity is forever united in a mutual understanding of the world and reality. It becomes a mutual understanding through a shared culture and ideology. A developing human being forms its identity through language, and constantly adding to the internal bank of words and the connotations these words give.
We are discussing elements that only exist in myth and stories, and yet we are still using the same language connected to reality. We make use of the same language in both spheres, but we make use of different images, different metaphors and different experiences to grasp the ungraspable. And though our stories do not particularly critique the language of the time period they represent, the speech is connected to fairytales and fantasies in a way that people were made to listen. People felt frightened, yet part of something bigger. The texts become a cathartic experience. Because we get a heightened understanding of the world, we end up feeling elevated and cleansed.

According to Anthony Easthope, Sigmund Freud said that the interpretation of dreams was “the royal road” to understanding the unconscious. (Easthope 1999:9) One might argue that words occurring in dreams have deeper meanings than the connotations they normally would present, and any associations one would get from a word in a dream would be a step towards understanding the dream itself, as well as moving towards an understanding of the self in both the real and the dream. One might suggest that the higher understanding, and the higher ability to make use of language and its metaphors we have, the higher chance of grasping the symbolism of the dreams and eventually fathoming the unconscious, and in the end be able to get a bigger understanding of the real. But, to understand dreams, one must attempt to understand the unconscious. It is difficult to know exactly when we switch from the conscious to the unconscious. It is also difficult to determine what is an unconscious experience. It could be all sorts of absentminded processes, sleep, dream, intoxication and unconsciously and mentally ill, to mention a few.
            Our texts reflect on the unconscious and the world of dreams, metaphors and myth. The texts are not only trying to make a description of the unexplainable, but they also oppose the common rules in their contemporary society. “In philosophy, realism signifies the assertion of the existence of a reality independently of our thoughts or beliefs about it.” (A Dictionary Of Sociology 2009:632) Music, movies, literature and art are always presenting us with versions of reality. It is up to us to interpret and find common ground with the creator in reference to our own experiences. One could say that the individual interpretation creates a reality of its own, but still relating to a common idea of reality and a common set of rules and norms, all with a linguistic and cultural anchor. These sets of rules try to explain what reality is, and how we as a species relate to the real.
            The unconscious can sometimes be almost submerged in rationality and reason, but it takes our minds to strange, silent and incomprehensible, unexplainable realms through dreams and deep thought. No one can stop this from happening. One can numb and drown the feelings of creativity and imagination, almost even completely eradicate them, but one will never fully silence the dreams or the unconscious stream of consciousness. The biggest parts of The Matrix and Peter Pan take place in the unconscious. For example, Neo make the biggest decision of his life still a full part of the illusion that is The Matrix, the question of the red or the blue pill. Once that choice has been made, there is no going back to the dream as it was. He can go back as an observer and visitor, and eventually a revolutionary leader and warrior, but never again blissfully unaware of the chains he once bore.  

In the real world art has not survived the cataclysmic war between man and machines. “The world as it was at the end of the 20th Century, it exists now only as part of a neuro-interactive simulation that we call The Matrix” (The Matrix 1999:Morpheus). The real world has been left in ruins, and even the sun cannot reach through the scorched sky, leaving humanity in a gloomy twilight. The cultural and sunny world lives on in the illusion, in the digital representation of a world that has seized to be. Faith in humanity, that pure faith in survival, is what powers them to fight on. The cultural memories of the world have become a Neverland, a place that never was and never can be. The mind makes the experience real, and if a doubt is present, you will not be the One, you will not be able to fly anymore.
In all the stories about Neverland and Peter Pan, Peter remains a boy. “In his wild state he [] offered his new minders and teachers a blueprint of human nature - untouched.” (Marina Warner 1994:33) He is, throughout eternity, or maybe never, that lovely boy, with all his baby teeth intact, living in Neverland, hunting pirates. Not realising that his own story will always be the one powering his own beloved dream world, where everything remains the same, even though it constantly changes. “Wendy and Michael fitted their trees at the first try, but John had to be altered a little” (Barrie 1995:77) Peter make them fit his reality, his Neverland.
It is likely to assume that Neverland and Peter Pan are linked, further that the two cannot exist without the other. Neverland could very well be the equivalent of the real world in The Matrix, as it is the unexplored and wild, the unexpected and the unpredictable, that place that can be altered to fit ones reality. Looking to the text, Neverland is impossible to map, as is a human mind (Barrie 1995:6). Neverland is the human mind. Journeying into the mind, one can get lost or get stuck for a while, and both Peter’s Neverland and The Real World in The Matrix are places not everyone are able to access. It is not for everyone to access the deep places in their minds. The real world enables the human mind to flourish, and go to all the wonderlands it desires, whereas in the illusion the machines have the power to control what the human mind is or is not.
            On his search for meaning, Neo asks what The Matrix really is. But the answer rests within him. Only when he dares to believe in the myth created around him can he become the creator of his world. Morpheus is leading him from one realm to the other. We might from this suspect Morpheus of being the true creator of the dreams in The Matrix. We might also suspect that he knows far more than he ever really gives away. Neo could be Morpheus’ prisoner, as he can only walk through the doors Morpheus shows him. He can never know for sure if the door he is in front of is the door to the real, or a door to another dream.
Through Mopheus and through Pan we are invited into the world of the unconscious and the hidden. Morpheus and Pan serve as the keeper of the dream world, and as the keeper of the wild and the uncontrollable. When we are faced with a place where dreams come true, or where fear stirs up the mind and tears up the consciousness, we might not be in control of the self or perceptions the real. Even the most reasonable person would probably scream in fear if the known reality were to be revealed as a cover for a truth far darker than any nightmare. But both texts convey that children easier believe in the unreal and in the amazing.  
The elusive real is what we cannot quite define, and we are dealing with a reality that has been stunned. In reference to Creation Myths, we can note that The Matrix were created by the machines, and the machines were created by man, and at the very beginning, man was, according to myth, created by God. In an intricate way, the machines are God to The Matrix. But the lucky few, who manage to see beyond the Platonic metaphors, those awakened to the cold desert of the real, are still clinging on to faith in a Christian version of God. The Christian connotations in The Matrix are undeniable. Neo is a modern, or even futuristic, Jesus. This could both be seen as a comment on the relationship between the human being and God, and the relationship between the socialised human being and ideology.
But, waking up from the illusion might create anger, and deep frustration, which again might create enemies “If you would have told us the truth, we would have told you to shove that red pill up your ass” (The Matrix 1999:Cypher) Cypher can only see what the real world cannot provide, and through his yearning for a state where his mind is blissfully unaware of the truth, he betrays Morpheus and his friends. Most people are content remaining in the dream. The people living in the real world become a rebel force to the machine empire, fighting a war on behalf of people who will never know.

Peter communicates with Mrs. Darling through her dreams. He can move around rather effortlessly in, in between and through both worlds. He is capable of influencing both worlds by the power of his will. But in the real world, he is merely en echo resonating through from the dream. He is the strange sound in the house at twilight, he is the shadow in the corner of the eye, he is imagination gone wild.  
            Throughout Peter Pan the story keeps coming back to the fact that he is a child, he still has his baby teeth, and he has a smile that makes him get away with anything. Peter is a child, he acts like a child, he remembers like a child and he lives completely in the now. But, when the time comes to choose whether or not to let Wendy and her brothers go home, he makes the right and selfless choice because he can relate to Mrs. Darling’s feeling of loss. He can see she is suffering, and he takes pity on her. In one of the film versions he closes the window, and the Darlings open it. In the book he leaves it open.
Neo communicates with Agent Smith while hooked into the Matrix. Neo can also move around rather effortlessly in, in between and through both worlds. As he comes into his true powers, he is capable of influencing both versions of reality by the power of his will. He can for example bend the rules of gravity. And when the lines between the dream and the real become blurred he can handle it. The lines fuse and the two worlds come together as a strange and unexplainable one that has to exist to uphold the other. It is unthinkable to have a real world that is just unchangeable and set, static and cold, without the amazing thoughts, images and universes, and the unconscious and the dreams can give us. Stories such as Peter Pan and The Matrix enables us here and now, in our real world, to imagine worlds outside the common and cultural perception of reality.

 Though both Peter Pan and The Matrix are full of symbolism, we find a clear foreshadowing when Neo is looking in the mirror just before being woken up in the real world. At first there is no reflection, then a reflection split in three melting into one. And Peter Pan’s shadow living its own life, wanting to break free from its master. We are still focusing on the dreams and metaphors of the real. The White Rabbit is a metaphor for exploring the unknown, and a clear reference to Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1998). We are invited to jump down the rabbit hole to see just how deep it really is. It is hard to decide what is real and what is not. But if we look at the myth of the rabbit, or the hare, it is a far more complex character than a side feature in a fantasy story. It is linked to the myth of the Earth Mother, and the eternal never changing moon. A moon that “[]serves as the backcloth to deep dream-states []” (A Dictionary of Symbols 1996:472), and becomes ambivalent in its constantness, its coldness and its secretiveness. We can ask ourselves what the real really is, and how it is mediated through the different medias we are surrounded by. Whatever the question, art, in every form, will always function as a destabilisor to our comprehension of reality.

Though the story in Peter Pan mainly deals with children’s discovery of spirituality and imagination, they find their true self as the story progresses. Wendy cannot stay in Neverland, because one of her dreams is to become a mother, a proper mother, maybe to Peter’s child. This is a puzzle to Peter. He does not understand why anyone would want to leave. He resists any kind of awakening. He never takes the defining step into adulthood, he gets that Wendy wants him to be something more, but he is unable to give her what she wants. “You are so queer - he said, frankly puzzled. And Tiger Lily is just the same. There is something she wants me to be, but she says it is not my mother.” (Barrie 1995:111) He either has to come back to the real world with Wendy, and become the man she hopes he is, or remain in the dream.  
The dialogue in The Matrix drives forwards the spiritual journey of the characters. To accept new truths is the first goal, spreading the word among the ones still in the dark is their mission. This is another place where our two texts unite, in this the journey towards elevation and understanding of both the real and the illusion and the dreams. Both dream worlds are equipped with a reality where features such as dreams within the dream occur. They are faced with a reality within the illusion, making waking up that much more difficult.  So our characters are wise in following the guidance provided by rabbits and stars, and the gods of dreams and the wild.  

In Peter Pan, opposite to The Matrix, the dream is the savage world. “Here dreaming, though wide-awake, of the exquisite tortures to which they were to put him at break of day, those confiding savages were found by the treacherous Hook” (Barrie 1995:125). It becomes a playground for stories of bravery, good form, deceit and loss. When danger stares them in the face, Peter sticks to good form, by habit more than by choice, and picks up his sword to fight. Here the real world is the constricted and numbed truth. But, the real world is also a representative for the choices one cannot have in Neverland, such as growing up, finding a spouse, starting a family, having responsibility. From a child’s perspective these might be considered boring, and even frightening. But good form survives even Peter Pan’s childlike reasoning.
            We find a lack of balance between the dreams and the real in both the texts we are exploring. Both in Peter Pan and in The Matrix we have a fragmented perception of the dream world and the desert of the real. The protagonists are at the centre of worlds gone vertigo, worlds that according to creation myths can alter as their creator chooses to, making sure nothing is presenting as constant, noting is presenting as normal, nothing is presenting as safe, not even the real world. We are parts of adventures that manage to erase the boundaries between the common perception of reality and the common understanding of dreams.
            We also become parts of adventures where it is not easy to see things clearly. Seeing is challenged both on a metaphorical level and an actual level. “The topography of the modern fantastic suggests a preoccupation with problems of vision and visibility, for it is structured around spectral imagery []” (Jackson 2003:43). The ability to see is challenged in dreams. Peter’s Neverland is bright and colourful. The children are caught up in the game, and slowly they forget what mother and father look like (Barrie 1995: 80). Neo wakes up and realise that all the things he thought he had seen and experienced was in fact an illusion. And the world he wakes up to is a world where humanity have been forced to hide in the shadows, to run from danger, and to operate on the margins of the stunned real world society to plan retaliation and eventually revolution.
The most generic action or item can become so overwhelmingly scary or beautiful in dreams that one wakes up feeling either frightened or enlightened. Unknown scenarios disguised as reality play tricks with our minds all the time. The mind makes it real, forcing dreamers to recognise strange faces, or making strange places into ones home environment. It is hard to determine why we experience this, but it could be our minds looking through a divine or sublime looking glass, the world shown from a perfect and un-describable angle, the uncanny angle.           
The uncanny angle we see and experience that moment between worlds, that moment when one is neither awake nor asleep, neither lost nor found, that transparent moment when one can claim ownership to both worlds, when both the conscious and unconscious mind is ready to bring the dream into or out of the amazing. The moment when signifier and signified are silenced, yet screaming louder than ever. The moment just before Neo wakes up from The Matrix to the real, and the moment the children are flying from our world to Neverland, both stuck for an eternal moment in a void, an elusive moment when everything and nothing becomes a whole. This could be the moment when human nature interprets the absolutely untarnished untainted and untouched real.



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- 1999
- Marbles 2004
Label: Marillion publish on their own label, Racket Records, London.


Fairies In Kensington by Arthur Rackham
Artwork from The Matrix - Copyright Warner Brothers.

[1] All the quotes from The Matrix and Marillion are my own transcription.