Alice goes through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole to get to Wonderland, Lucy Pevensie goes through the wardrobe into Narnia, Neo swallows the red pill to leave the Matrix – literature and movies are full of journeys that take characters from one reality to another and often that new world reveals the anxieties and fears the character suffers. Fairytales too transport characters between worlds and one of the most famous examples is the classic English fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk. To commemorate our own newly released Jack and the Beanstalk app and the upcoming release of the movie Jack the Giant Killer, let’s travel up the beanstalk and find out what the story is really all about!
The two parallel worlds are presented quite similarly, specifically in regards to the women – Jack’s mother and the giantess who initially is quite sympathetic to Jack (she becomes less friendly after Jack begins stealing from her and her husband). Yet the element that differs between the two worlds is the presence of a male husband for the giantess and the lack of a husband for Jack’s mother. Sure, the giant quite happily admits to eating children, making him even more terrifying to behold. Yet clearly the giant has made life for his wife comfortable; there are bags of money just lying around, there is a hen that supplies an unlimited amount of gold so they will never want for anything, and there is a magical harp to keep the couple entertained. Compared to Jack’s mother, the giantess lives a life of luxury and Jack steals from the giants in order to provide his own mother with such a life. I think that what really makes Jack so threatened by the giant (besides, of course, the prospect of being turned into bread) is how much more successful the giant is for caring for his woman. Of course, when Jack slays the giant and takes his wealth, the lady on the other side of the beanstalk has no one to support her and is therefore left to a life of destitution.
Disagree? Let us know what you think is the real problems Jack and the Beanstalk addresses?
Jack the Giant Slayer comes out tomorrow, make sure you check out the original story in our Jack and the Beanstalk app here!