Thanks for all of you who read the Season 1 Review and Analysis and provided input. The discussion helped me realize something about the underlying metaphor or archetype that drives the series.
Note: it is not an allegory so it doesn’t follow the archetype exactly but it keeps enough of the heart of it so that it doesn’t break the metaphor and thus lose its power.
Basically from Season 1 we found out that Eleven is Eve in the Bible story in Genesis. She is young and innocent.
Papa is Satan – he is facilitating naive Eve to bring sin into the world. Note: Papa had no other power over Eleven than emotional power. Eleven could have turned him inside-out with her powers at any time.
At first, I thought that the writers were trying to make Papa to be God but then that would break the metaphor. Papa being Satan makes so much more sense. Plus, Papa isn’t Eleven’s biological father so he didn’t ‘create’ her (Maybe Season 3 will bring this in?)
Eleven has the power to open the gate and unleash the upside down on our reality just as Eve had the power to open the gate and unleash sin on our reality. That is the philosophical and spiritual power of the series.
So, now that that is established where can Season 2 go? Will it follow the Bible and provide some solution to the upside down (sin)? Some way to close the gate? It will need a Messiah figure if it does. Someone that can become the upside down (sin), and in so doing, allows it to be defeated.
The writers seemed to know this too (either consciously or subconsciously).
They try to throw in that 11 has a sister and she goes and tries to find herself but it doesn’t really help the plot out. It just allows them to make more episodes and provide a bit of back story. In fact, the first few episodes seemed slow and followed themes that were predictable and boring.
The real philosophical meat lies in the fact that the upside down is growing roots and infecting everything. It is swallowing up the town and literally swallows the chief (not unlike his own sins are swallowing him). If something does not stop it it will take over everything.
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
Well, Will becomes the Messiah figure and becomes ‘possessed’ by the upside down aka. Mind Flayer (or infected by a virus for you science types). He literally becomes it to help defeat it.
Note: The writers describe it as a virus but it doesn’t act like a virus. It has cognition and acts – like a dark spiritual force with a mind.
And then in the crucial moment when it essentially has completely inhabited and killed Will he is stabbed in the side with a hot poker.
It sounds a lot like Jesus taking sin on Himself and then getting a spear in his side on the cross.
Why do I try and make all these parallels and point out these themes? What am I trying to do? Am I forcing the point?
It is because that for a movie or story to have the greatest psychologicaland philosophical power it has to have certain archetypes/metaphors/themes or symbols and they can be hidden and bent but they can’t be broken.
The writers know this and write them into the story. They probably do this not only because they know it will cause you to like the story but because they themselves like it as well.
One example: the noble act of self sacrifice for the saving of others – Bob gives his life to save the others from the demo-dogs.
Another example, All of the references to Dungeons and Dragon’s, but these themes didn’t originate there. D&D has its roots in older stories and probably was most influenced by The Lord of the Rings.
The world of D&D was influenced by world mythology, history, pulp fiction, and contemporary fantasy novels. The importance of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit as an influence on D&D is controversial. The presence in the game of halflings, elves, half-elves, dwarves, orcs, rangers, and the like, draw comparisons to these works. The resemblance was even closer before the threat of copyright action from Tolkien Enterprises prompted the name changes of hobbit to ‘halfling’, ent to ‘treant’, and balrog to ‘balor’. For many years, Gygax played down the influence of Tolkien on the development of the game. However, in an interview in 2000, he acknowledged that Tolkien’s work had a “strong impact”.
JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis are arguably the father’s of fantasy fiction.
Here is a re-enactment of them talking about why stories (myths) have so much power to humans.
If that interested you at all and you have time listen to this. The music is crap and the pictures are cheesy but the words are great.
And one more…