Monday, March 14, 2011

Gospel Parallels in Secular Fiction

In A. Todd Smith’s script, I saw parallels between Mr. Bellpond and Christ. Mr. Bellpond had a task he had to complete, one that would challenge his soul in the process. Likewise, the Savior had to complete the Atonement, no matter how hard it would be. As Mr. Bellpond works on the outline, he is faced with greater and greater physical obstacles, much like the Savior who had to feel the pain of every sin that had been, and would be, committed by each of us.

Yet deep inside, Mr. Bellpond found the strength to go on. He wanted desperately to be reunited, in some fashion, with his beloved Yuridia. The Savior’s desire to be reunited with us in heaven, and His love for us, gave him the power to endure the pain of the Atonement, with its spiritual and physical agony.

There is a dark moment when Mr. Bellpond has suffered through the score and waits, feeling all is lost. A similar moment must have come for the Savior as He awaited his trials and sentencing before the public. But Mr. Bellpond finds hope in a new beginning when he stands at the dock with the boat pass. The Savior gave us hope when He rose again to a new beginning as well.

In Chole Huber’s script I saw the hair as a symbol of sin. The verbs used in conjunction with the hair, like, “ooze,” “jerks,” and “slithers” give it a definitely negative and hostile identity, and its actions validate the suggestion. Like hair, sin unattended can become unmanageable. The similarities continue, though. The hair begins to take on a life of its own, much like habitual sin or addiction can dominate a person’s ability to make decisions. The power of the hair quickly grows to be completely uncontrollable, though Grace attempts to coexist. She soon learns that no one can serve two masters. She must either cut her hair or give in to its will, the agenda of which is uncertain, but most likely malicious. Lewis and Marian stand as helpless friends who, in the end, must stand by and watch as the hair almost destroys Grace, and then accede to her silent request to let her take care of things on her own as she is lifted into the air one last time.


  1. You bring up some really interesting points Mont, I think the allusions you found to gospel principles in your reading of the script are both valid and insightful. What struck me most as I read your comment is how different our readings were, as well as how differently everybody else read it. It's almost as though art is like a parable. It's told once but interpreted in so many different ways and they're all equally valid as the others. I especially liked how you compared Mr. Bellpond to Christ, which was a connection I hadn't made but saw complete truth in as you explained your reasoning. I think it's awesome how so many different people can make so many different connections and would love to try to see what the connections they make have to say about themselves.

  2. Lovely insight, I really enjoyed the connections you made to Christ in A. Todd's script in particular. Something that i hadn't noticed before, but occurred to me as i was reading your post was Chloe's interesting choice of name. The girl is named Grace. In the scriptures we learn that after all we can do, we are saved by Grace. After all Grace can do, she is ultimately saved by...Grace. Kind of confusing, but something i hadn't noticed until now.
    Nice job!