One of the classes I'm taking is that American Literature course that I may or may not have talked about previously, and for today we were finishing up the last two chapters of Thoreau's Walden. We read the first chapter for yesterday and the final two for today, so it's not like we read the whole thing. Now, I guess it wasn't terrible (I've read some stuff that's much worse, that's for sure), but I can't see myself becoming Christopher McCandless either.
So we're talking about Walden in class today, specifically the second to last chapter titled "Spring." Now, there's some serious symbolism in this book, and it's all done through parables, but the one I think we really talked the most about was the symbolism Thoreau gives to the sun.
In the book, the sun is talked about with the morning, and in the chapter it is what warms the world and melts the ice on Walden pond. Thoreau uses the sun as both a scientific and metaphorical analysis of the ice breaking up as the world warms, and in the end the sun becomes a representation of an awakening.
Can you guess how this relates to Disney? What the first thing I thought of was?
Well, unless you were with me on the Backstage Magic Tour I took with my dad a few years ago, there's a good chance you won't know. On that tour, which is absolutely excellent, by the way, our first stop was The American Adventure. But we didn't go in the front. No, we went in the back. That's right, we got to go backstage of the American Adventure, and the best part? While we were standing back there they began the show, doing their morning test run of it before it would open to guests. So in other words, I stood five feet from Mark Twain as he appears in the beginning of the show and then watched the screen from down below the stage (which actually isn't there).
Either way, I loved everything about that backstage tour of The American Adventure, but there was one thing that I learned that absolutely ALWAYS makes me smile, no matter how many times I see the show (which I have recorded on my computer and watch quite often now that it's there). At the very end of the show, even after the video, we see Ben Franklin and Mark Twain one last time, atop the Statue of Liberty (you'll hear about this part again someday I'm sure, I have another story). They talk and shake hands as the music continues to play and the show finishes. But there is one light backstage, behind the rest of the set and screen that is only used in this scene. It has a special job. What is it? To create the sunburst at the very end of the show.
It was that very sunburst that I thought of in class today when we were talking about the sunrise. Why? Because I believe it represents the same thing as the sunrise in Walden. Aside from the eagle, what better to represent the history of our country than a sunrise? It is an awakening, the start of something new, of a new day, and that's what our history has been based on. The Pilgrims started a new life here, a new country was born, new inventions created, wars started and freedoms given. None of that would exist without an awakening and a new start, just as a new day cannot start without a sunrise.
Here's today's Disney History: 1906: Actress Hermione Baddeley is born in Shropshine, England. Her Disney credits include Mary Poppins (as Ellen), the Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (as Miss Irene Chesney), The Happiest Millionaire (as Mrs. Worth), and The Aristocats (as the voice of Madame Adelaide Bonfamille - the owner of Duchess and her kittens).
Have a magical day!