Last week, during my book tour for Cursed, I was a guest blogger at Books and Tales. I had just seen the movie Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters the night before with my kids and since there is also a witch in Cursed, I started thinking about how the movie portrayed witches compared to the typical green skin, black hat types, and the scary beautiful types. My guest blog was about our perceptions of witches; how we are programmed as children to expect ugly as bad and beauty as good – because life isn’t always that way.
Be sure to check out Books and Tales for this and other great blogs and interviews!
Good or Evil – Witch is it?
I just saw the movie Hansel and Gretel – Witch Hunters. It was a fun movie (a little bloody) but the way the witches were portrayed was different then you generally see – they were more demonic in appearance. As I watched the movie, and the clear delineation between a white witch and a black witch, good and evil, healer and hurter, beautiful and ugly . . . . it got me thinking. This works well for fairy tales – the balance of good vs. bad — but in real life is there always that clear demarcation? Can’t a seemingly good person turn bad if pushed to an extreme? And can you sometimes be lulled or tricked by someone’s beauty? It happens every day.
Witches have been popular subjects throughout history and I think we, as book readers and movie goers, like our witches to be evil. The very first movie I saw as a child was Snow White. My mom brought me into Boston since it was not playing in the suburbs, and we watched it on the big screen. I was amazed and completely drawn in to the huge cartoon before my eyes. But I can still remember how scared I was of that old crone when she handed that apple over to Snow White. She was ugly – with the bulging eyes and wart – so she must therefore be evil. These are simple thoughts of a five year old . . . but do they stick with us? Does a beautiful witch therefore become even more sinister somehow because evil isn’t supposed to reflect beauty and it therefore tricks us?
In Cursed, you know the witch is evil because, well, she put a curse on someone. She does not, however, fit the image of an old crone. But what was her motive? The reason that she did it? Was she really pissed off and did it out of anger? Spite? Or even jealousy? Could things have been different or did she show her true colors? Was she acting out of rage or was it a calculated plot to turn mere mortals’ lives upside down and inflict pain just because she could? I’m thinking that to really know, you need to go back to her earlier years to see where things went awry – because she wasn’t born evil . . . or was she?
We don’t always trust the right people, and we make judgements sometimes based on initial appearances. Thankfully, Belle did not do that in Beauty and the Beast, and Sarah did not do that with Mason in Cursed.