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On escaping imprisonment & enlightenment

I’ve been on this incredible journey & I’ve seen & learned so much – I even met someone. In the final act, the girl Rapunzel, our very unusual heroine, explains herself in these excited words. What adolescent or tourist would not say this about herself? She might as well have quoted bumbling Polonius… This is the story of a girl locked in a tower & who does not know she is a prisoner. She realizes she is a prisoner when she goes chasing after the lights. When her desire to be happy gets the better of her obedience, she finds her destiny.

Now let’s return to the pleasant things, for the pleasures of life make this story pleasant. We see a charming young girl on the brink of womanhood. Happily innocent, she dances lightly her way through household chores. Her love of the fine arts fills the house with music & paintings. She lives secluded in a tower. No wonder our young swashbuckler extraordinaire loses his mind when he realizes she also has magic powers! That they help does not calm him, that she’s helpful does not either, for he is at first keenly aware of the danger of magic.

This girl suspects somehow that the stars & the lanterns are different; the stars are always there – she’s an amateur astronomer – but the lanterns come about much more rarely & pass away quickly. We learn men put these things up one night of the year because they hope their long lost princess will come back. It’s a matter of convention. We never learn why the stars are up in the sky, unusually. One night, the girl sees the lanterns fly over the lake. You cannot anymore tell apart the lanterns from their reflections in the water. Up & down are confused, which is the stuff of comedy. But this happens only after the girl escapes her prison: faced with the world around her, she does not know where she is.

Rapunzel eventually finds a family, a kingdom, & a husband. Her warm heart & easygoing openness about her most intimate dreams earn her friends in every criminal in the land. It seems that she does not fear criminals because she thinks they would not do evil things if they knew that they are doing evil. Learning of the goodness of the passions of the soul at the price of a movie theater ticket must be the best bargain anyone’s ever made. Rapunzel herself learns that there is evil that cannot be cured by knowledge, but which ultimately has got to be destroyed. It is lucky that she has that young fighter with her, who knew this all along, & feared it.

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