Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mother Gothel: The Modern Day Villain

The first time I watched Tangled there was something about the villain, Mother Gothel, that really got under my skin.  And I know the bad guy (or girl) is supposed to be troubling and unlikable, but this was something else.  It took me a bit to put my finger on it, and when I did it brought me back to my middle school days.  I had a best friend who was terribly insecure and when I met her mother I finally understood why.  There was always something she had to say to make the air uncomfortable.  And that was when I was present!  I had an idea of the things she would regularly say to her daughter from the little she would confide in me, but lots of subtle put-downs were the norm. 

I’ve compiled a list of most of Mother Gothel’s snarky side comments to Rapunzel.  They’re easier to digest coming from a known fictional villain.  However, if you take a minute to picture a modern suburban wife, exasperated with her life and taking it out on her adolescent (and subsequently insecure) daughter, you may become defensive as I did.  She’s quite different than the murderous villains Disney usually chooses to portray.   In this case vanity and self-serving attitude are the driving forces behind her evil doings, and unfortunately hurtful comments are more common in the real world than poisoned apples.

“I don’t know why it takes so long” (After Rapunzel completed an exhausting hair elevator-pull.)
“I see a strong confident beautiful young lady. Oh look you’re here too.”
“Stop with the mumbling… blah blah blah it’s very annoying”
“Oh I’m just teasing”
“Sloppy, ditzy, vague, chubby, naïve, etc.”
“you know I hate leaving you after a fight, especially when I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong”
“Great, now I’m the bad guy” (After yelling at her)
“He likes you?  That’s demented!” “Look at you, you think that he’s impressed?”
“Do you even hear yourself? Why would you ask such a ridiculous question?”

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