The concepts of fantasy and reality when placed together are often recognized as two parts to a single dichotomy. The separation is easily continued to include such corresponding pairings as childhood-adulthood, idealism-realism, and also genius-science. The total result of these many connotations is typically a very general categorization of them all into Fantasy World and Reality World. This generalized distinction originates, as the introductory quote that sets up (as quoted from R.W. Emerson in his essay Experience), from the initial discovery of one's identity as a separate and potentially autonomous entity.
It is a discovery made specifically during the transition out of childhood which undoubtedly is full of promise for a stronger, independent and more happy individual, also brings with it the potential for an
essentially opposite outcome, a backfire of sorts of the same power that offers autonomy. It is in
this backfire, I will argue, that the Two-World Distinction is first made and with support from
Emerson's essays (Nature, Experience, Self-Reliance, and The Transcendentalist), as well as borrowed concepts from Freudian discourse, I will show how film (with specific examples from Erice's Spirit of the Beehive, and Pullman and Weitz's The Golden Compass) is the perfect medium through which the viewer can best be confronted with the destructiveness of his acceptance of this distinction, and then perhaps be able to successfully return to the child-like openness, now with the alternative autonomy.
[...] What necessitates this split into the world of reality and the world of fantasy? This life-stage—the activation of an individual's natural language capability—is an extremely vital and affirmative developmental step towards the person's eventual sense of happiness and autonomy. And yet at the same time the individual is also threatened with a separation of self, a division of his world into two different and even contradictory worlds. It would seem as if the same awesome power that language provides to grasp the world and one's place in it—it would seem as if this power actually backfires and prohibits the individual from achieving autonomy. [...]
[...] With art, and especially the easy fluidity of film, we can perhaps be confronted with what was lost, understand the suffering, a somehow remember that child-ish trust, that “to believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men—that is genius” (Self-Reliance, p. 132). 7 Bibliography 1. El espíritu de la colmena. Victor Erice. 1973. 2. The Golden Compass. Dir. Chris Weitz. Auth. Philip Pullman. 2007. 3. Emerson, R.W. Essays and Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Intro. Peter Norberg. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2004. 4. Emerson, R.W. The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Intro. Mary Oliver. [...]
[...] To take these two concepts and questions them in relation to each other is inevitable, and indeed is a perfectly reasonable question for one to ask who seeks autonomy. But to take the separation and even opposition of the two for granted serves no affirmative purpose. With this distinction immediately follows value-judgments between “reality” and “fantasy” (between realism and idealism). Naturally, it does not much serve one to “deny the existence of matter” and, so to speak, live only within one's head, “wander[ing] without end” (Nature, p. 32). But a life without an inner-world, without an “ideal” a life, really, without meaning. [...]
using our reader.