The George Orwell Nature of the Princess Bride
Of course everybody knows one of the greatest comedies ever created, The Princess Bride. This is one of those movies that will be forever timeless to all generations. Recently (February 2001), at a reckless teenage party, everything stopped when Princess Bride came on HBO. The drinking, the drugs, and the MTV all stopped. All people and TVs instantly were on Princess Bride, and the entire movie's lines were recited and echoing throughout the house. I was surprised that its popularity now resembles 14 years ago.
What most people may not consciously understand is how well this movie represents today's society. There are two nations, Florin and Guilder. We know absolutely nothing of one of these nations, Guilder. We don't know who they are, what they do, or how they live, just as Americans don't know that of many nations around the world.
But the people of Florin do have information on Guilder, which consists entirely of the lies told by the leader of Florin. They are told that Florin is bad, the people are bad, and their nature is evil. Without any cause given, they are blamed for atrocities, which they commit without any reason. They are merely a bad nation of bad people, just because. This is America, full of people who are told one side of a story, and believe there are nations full of evil natured people (China, Libya, North Korea, for example).
Count Rugen: Your princess is quite a winning creature. A trifle simple,
perhaps. Her appeal is undeniable.
Humperdink: I know, the people are quite taken with her. It's odd, but when I
hired Vizzini (symbolic of the Central Intelligence Agency) to have her murdered on our
engagement day, I thought that
was clever. But it's going to be so much more moving when I strangle
her on our wedding night. Once Guilder is blamed, the nation will truly
be outraged - they'll demand we go to war.
In Princess Bride, this "evil" nation of Guilder is blamed for things which they don't do, then they are used as an excuse to commit crimes by the leaders of Florin. Going to war is the number one objective of the leaders of Florin, which there is no reason to do other than greed of the leaders. This is how America has been run for over 100 years. In addition, there are other atrocities committed against the people of Florin by its leaders. As usual, the excuses are these enemies that really don't exist.
Humperdink: As chief enforcer of all Florin, I trust you with this secret:
Killers from Guilder are infiltrating the Thieves' Forest and plan to
murder my bride on our wedding night.
Yellin: [surprised] My spy network has heard no such news.
Humperdink: She will not be murdered! On the
day of the wedding, I want the Thieves' Forest emptied and every
Yellin: [distraught] Many of the thieves will resist. My regular enforcers
will be inadequate.
Humperdink: [angered] Form a brute squad then! I want the Thieves' Forest
emptied before I wed.
Yellin: It won't be easy, Sire.
Humperdink: [sarcastically] Try ruling the world sometime.
There is a continual and constant attempt to limit the rights of the American people, and violate their human rights. Often the excuse is "national security" or "communism" or some other kind of non-existent threat. Maybe the new The Princess Bride generations will be smarter and aware of what is happening, since they were unconsciously warned by this timeless classic.
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