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Disney Lit Terms Project: The Lion King
Transcript of Disney Lit Terms Project: The Lion King
The Lion King
Claim: The Lion King is a complex story about jealousy, taking responsibility for your actions, and rebirth. The film possesses many examples of literary devices, including allusion, theme, symbolism, motif, and idiom.
External: Simba vs. Scar
Reasons for conflict: Scar is jealous of Mufasa's power and wants to be in control. Simba wants to protect his home.
Internal: Simba vs. his guilt and shame
Reason for conflict: Simba believes that he is responsible for his father's death and is ashamed to admit this to the people he loves.
Scar's ambition and jealousy and Simba's guilt drive the plot of this film. Through their actions, the literary devices in play, and the concluding scene at pride rock we see the overarching theme of life, struggle, death, and rebirth, also known as the circle of life.
Simba - brave, kind, wants to do the right thing and make his family proud
Scar - Deceptive, treacherous, power-hungry, jealous
Setting: The African grasslands, present day
Introduction of characters: Mufasa, Zazu, Simba, Scar, Sarabi, Rafiki, etc.
Simba's birth is announced, signaling the birth of the prince who will become king. Scar's jealousy is established.
After the birth of Simba, Mufasa confronts Scar about missing Simba's birth ceremony. This is where we find out that Scar is angry about Simba's birth. Scar threatens Mufasa and tells him, "Perhaps you should watch out for me".
Scar tries to kill Simba by tricking him into going to the elephant graveyard.
Scar plots against Mufasa with the hyenas.
Scar sets up Mufasa's death to make it look like Simba's fault.
At Scar's suggestion Simba runs away rather than face his mother and the rest of the pride
Simba meets Timon and Pumba and learns an alternative lifestyle where he is no longer royalty.
Simba avoids his problem rather than facing it until Nala accidentally finds him and confronts him
Rafiki finds Simba and helps him to see that he must go back home to face his problems and take his rightful place.
Simba confronts Scar and the hyenas for control of the pride lands.
Simba admits his guilt to everyone, but the truth comes out and he is exonerated.
Simba defeats Scar and repeats the words Scar had said to him as a child "Run, run away and never return".
The hyenas have other plans because Scar tried to blame them. The hyenas kill Scar.
The rains come and figuratively and literally clean and revitalize the pride lands.
The movie ends by circling back to the beginning, but this time Simba is king (as foretold in the beginning) and he and Nala have had a cub who is being presented to the animal kingdom.
Allusion is a brief reference to something outside of the story. While at the elephant graveyard the three hyenas stick their heads through the fire. The three hyenas are an allusion to the mythical Cerberus (or hell hound) that guarded the gates of the underworld. The colors of the elephant graveyard (red, black, grey, green) are also used to imply that the setting is Hell.
a message, lesson, or comment about life
ne of the themes in
The Lion King
is that you cannot run from your past. Simba attempts to run from his problems by literally running away. For a brief time he avoids the issue and his responsibilities, but Rafiki shows him that he must confront his past in order to truly heal and move on with his life. Once he confronts Scar and the truth comes out he is able to take his rightful place again, returning to the circle of life.
One of the symbols in
The Lion King
is the tree where Rafiki lives and records important events. We first see the tree when Rafiki symbolically marks the birth of Simba. The tree becomes a symbol of life and death when Rafiki literally records the birth, death, and resurrection of Simba.
Water - water is a common motif throughout all literature. In this film, water appears at the watering hole, when Simba and Nala fall in love, when Simba sees his dad/his reflection, and in the rains at the end of the film. Water is restorative and creates new life. It is vital to the circle of life.
Several of Pumba's funny lines are because he misunderstands and takes idioms literally. When he first meets Simba Timon says, "he looks blue" which Pumba misunderstands and replies, "I'd say brownish-gold." Timon meant that Simba looked sad, but Pumba thought he was talking about his actually coloring.
Another allusion is in the song "Be Prepared". During the song the hyenas march in a way that imitates the Nazi march during World War II. Additionally, Scar promises the hyenas, "Stick with me, and you'll never go hungry again." Hitler promised the same thing to the German people. This allusion conveys the idea very clearly that Scar and the hyenas are evil.