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Avatar, one of the top grossing movies of all-time, thrusts the audience into a land of the unknown and brings together fantasy and great effects to make Avatar a truly remarkable piece of work. Filmmakers are credited with taking a simple story and making it into a masterpiece for people all over the world to enjoy and feel apart of the movie. Pan’s Labyrinth uses the concept of special effects to highlight a young girl’s fantasy world amid a real life of the ever changing. With this idea, the director is able to create a beautiful work of art and engage the audience in a dream that becomes reality. Director Guillermo del Toro plays with stability and intimate relationships in Civil War-stricken Spain through his uses of lighting and musical selections throughout his movie, Pan’s Labyrinth. Lighting signifies the hope for a better life in the eyes of the guerrilla rebels, while showing the darkness of a little girl’s mind being turned upside down in a time of instability. Del Toro shows the meaning of light through the character’s relationships between one another. This can be seen in the scene between the stuttering rebel and Dr. Ferriro. The ominous artificial light in the corner of the door is made out to look light the sun shining into the room to suggest that there will be hope for the two individuals in the future. The director also uses a secondary light to show an ever so slight glow of the needle going into the stuttering rebel’s arm. This illustrates the idea of hope assuring them that the fight is not over although it seems to be for the rebel.Also, the image of a bond between the rebel and doctor is created to show the doctor’s respect for the rebel based on his morals and values. Del Toro uses the lighting to create a dream that the rebels will find a way to prevail over the captain and his troops. Another example of the use of lighting is a contrast to the previous scene in which Ofelia discovers the labyrinth for the first time.


The World’s Columbian Exposition was a time in which America wanted to show their unity to the rest of the world. With the Civil War having ended just a short time ago, PEOPLE of all races and cultures flocked to Chicago to show this new American pride. Blacks came free and wanted to show off their new rights and let PEOPLE experience their culture and foreigners came to give insight into what their lives are like back home. Unfortunately, whites did not feel as though they were in the same social hierarchy with PEOPLE of different colors and separated themselves from the others there. In their articles, Fixing race: Visual Representations at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893 by Bridget R. Cook and Exhibiting Indigenous PEOPLE: Bolivians and the Chicago World Fair argue that minorities and foreigners at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 were looked down upon, and considered less than human. This attitude is a major indicator in how these groups were viewed and treated at this time. During the World’s Columbian Exposition, white Americans thought of themselves as the superior race even after the Civil War had allowed blacks to be free. Black Americans came to Chicago in an attempt to be treated as normal Americans just like everyone else. Unfortunately, this idea of equality was unbalanced between blacks and whites according to the article written by Cooks. In her article, she details how whites viewed blacks during this momentous celebration and how it seemed the races were not going to become equal for quite some time. Cook states, “After Reconstruction, white Northerners were sympathetic to Southern whites and deferred to them for expertise regarding the problem of assimilating Southern blacks” (Cooks 443). Cooks suggests that Northerners, who for the majority were against slavery, called for help from the Southern slave owners on how to deal with blacks at the fair. Blacks were usually viewed as those that were waiters or domestic servants to the whites. They were not able to enjoy the same things at the fair as everyone else because of their skin color. Blacks were not the only race to be viewed in such an inhumane manner. Many foreigners from other countries that had dark skin were also viewed as being inferior. Author Nancy Egan wrote an article depicting how Bolivians were viewed in light of the World’s Columbian Exposition. She describes how PEOPLE gave


them the jobs that no one else wanted to do and how they too were viewed in inhumane ways. In Cooks’ article, she describes a cartoon that is written in a local newspaper. The cartoon shows a stereotypical free black family by using caricatures to suggest the way blacks look from a white perspective. Some of the features included big lips, dark faces, and features that would resemble a monkey or ape (Cooks). PEOPLE saw this and thought that this is the way all black PEOPLE look. With this idea, whites used these preconceptions to treat the blacks and other foreigners the way they thought they should be treated. Blacks and whites did not use the same amenities during the World’s Fair. Restrooms and water fountains were labeled based off of color and PEOPLE did not interact with each other the way PEOPLE from other countries would of thought they would be treated like. Foreigners also had their own places that were labeled just for them. PEOPLE of different skin colors were treated harshly and unfairly. In some cases, PEOPLE treated them disrespectfully. Egan wrote about a special incident involving a Bolivian man named Santos. She describes the journey this man and his entourage took from their home country to Chicago. Along the way, a few of them died and instead of being buried right away, they were studied for scientific reasons (Egan). For a lot of cultures, an incident such as this particular one would be considered inhumane and disrespectful, but PEOPLE did not see it that way. They believed that whites were the superior race and therefore, they are treated fairly. Blacks working as servants and workers were looked down upon and seen as PEOPLE that lacked knowledge and were only in Chicago for certain reasons like work. Through the two articles, one can see the inequality between the races. One race felt superior to the other and was able to treat the other races the way they felt that they should be treated. Blacks and foreigners were viewed as PEOPLE that could never become like the rest of the country and therefore they should be given jobs that no one else wants to do. Whether it is a cartoon in a local paper or a body being tested for scientific reasons, racial issues were still very prevalent during the turn of the century. The Civil War seemed to only do so much for blacks that were still heavily discriminated against and treated like monkeys and apes. Looking at the two articles, minorities and foreigners were looked down


upon and seen as inhuman to rest of the population at the World’s Columbian Exposition.

Works Cited 1. Cooks, Bridget R. Fixing race: visual representations of African Americans at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. 2007 Dec. Web. 7 June 2012.

2, Egan, Nancy. Exhibiting Indigenous PEOPLE: Bolivians and the Chicago Fair of 1893. Studies in


Latin American Popular Culture. 2010 Jan. Web. 7 June 2012.

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