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FFFFCC: Orphans, Utopia and Mazes: 09/27/18
The second most extreme road narrative journey is the one an orphan (or solo protagonist) takes to utopia via a maze. For this project, based on arguments made within the narrative of The Way to Bea, I separate the maze from the labyrinth.
The maze, being the more difficult to navigation as it is one with blind alleys, traps, and often a "monster in the middle", is placed higher in the spectrum than the labyrinth.
Now English being English, not all story tellers (be they authors, filmmakers, etc) are consistent with how maze and labyrinth are used. Take for instance the film Labyrinth. The Labyrinth is for this project, a maze, with Jareth as the "monster in the middle." On the flip side, the "maze" in first season of Westworld is actually a labyrinth as demonstrated by the icon used for it throughout the series. As it was also a metaphor for sentience, it makes sense that there is only one way in and one way out.
A classic example of an orphan going to utopia by way of a maze is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1871). In the Once Upon a Time Map Book by B.G. Hennessy and illustrated by Peter Joyce, Wonderland is mapped as a hedge maze. Similarly, Sarah's journey through the Labyrinth can be mapped using Peter Joyce's approach.
Beyond Wonderland, my reading has come across one other example, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente. September's second trip to Fairyland is a much darker one, driven by depression over her father's involvement in the war. Her journey is a confusing one that takes her underground and through the land of the revels, who are the cast off shadows of the Fairyland residents. Where her first trip was primarily one of exploration until she at last decided to go home, this one is dark, dangerous, and confusing. It is full of blind alleys (as literal city features) and monsters.
That's not to say more don't exist, just that I haven't read one yet. My narrative spectrum is only three months old. In that time I've been tagging as many books I can that fit gaps in my spectrum but with reading one or two road narratives a week and then reviewing only one, that means I've read about two dozen books and reviewed twelve.
If you know of a recent book, film, or television episode that qualifies, recommend it in the comments.