Monday, November 23, 2015

The Path- Scarlet (The Johnson Review)

Scarlet is the oldest of six. The firstborn. In a family with an invisible mother. Quite a responsibility. One that she faces with determination and a sense of duty and pride. She is 19 years of age. She should probably be enjoying what’s left of her youth. But with five younger sisters, one more unruly than the other, somebody needs to maintain order and stability.
Not that Scarlet doesn’t wish to share the burden. Or a moment of silence. A moment of quiet understanding with a soulmate. A moment of true togetherness. Her loneliness is a secret she will take to the grave. Sooner than she may expect. -Scarlet's bio from Tale of Tales website.

Before the path: Scarlet, also known as stern red, is seen wearing a black shirt and pants with a red shawl and headband. Her hair is in a low ponytail. Overall, her look is very clean and modest. 

I find Scarlet to be placed in a position she wasn't ready for. She places the mother-figure for five younger girls, a position no 19 year-old should be in. She is very artistic, a perfectionist, and enjoys playing the piano, even going as far as to say she "couldn't live in a world without art". Despite all of her responsibilities, I don't think she has given up her dream of becoming a pianist.

During the path: There are six rows in the basket with rooms for items that can be picked up along the way during the game. The first three rows are reserved for items that almost any girl can pick up and will say something different about. The last three rows will be split into sections leaving three for each girl. These spaces are reserved for three special items per girl that will unlock new rooms in the grandmother's house. For the sake of this post, we will only focus on the special items.

The spiderweb: "The panic that consumes you is the fear of order." This item was the easiest to decipher the meaning. Scarlet, while enjoying maintaining order, is at the same time afraid of it. I think that she is afraid of order consuming her, that all of her life will be nothing but order. 

The television: "Chaos awaits order like you await me. Let me silence this madness and sing for thee." This item was a little tougher, and I went back and forth with this meaning quite a bit. However, I decided that the analogy is unrelated. "Chaos awaits order" was used simply because Scarlet would know this quite well. Chaos was never straightened out by itself, always waiting on order to fix it. Chaos awaits order like doubt awaits Scarlet. Doubt, the ever whispering voice in her ear that tells her she will never be good enough. She will never be recognized for the wonderful pianist that she is. Scarlet tries to drown out this voice by singing it away. 

The clothesline: "Get dirty to be clean. No light without darkness. A tear and a smile." As I said about the spider web, Scarlet hates order. She has a sense of pride in her responsibilities and enjoys keeping the order. However, she is ultimately terrified that her life will boil down to nothing but keeping the order. A tear and a smile represent how she feels when completing her chores: pride in the work but upset that she may never be known for anything else.

The wolf: Scarlet meets her wolf in what is known as the abandoned theater. He is an older man with a white wig and black suit. He paces back and forth in the area. It can be concluded that the music Scarlet hears periodically throughout the forest was made by him on the piano on the stage. Scarlet can be directed to sit at the piano and play. Once she plays the piano and her wolf walks over, he leans over her as she plays and the curtain falls over the screen.

Grandmother's house: The screen fades to Scarlet lying on the path in front of her grandmother's house. It is now raining, and the character can no longer run. Instead, she walks slowly, never lifting her head. The player has no choice but to move in the direction chosen by the character.

Scarlet's house is very bleak. All of the furniture is covered in cloth, and there is nothing on the walls but paint. In the next room, many jars are on the floor, all in perfect order. After that, books can be found in stacks on the floor. In the music room, all of the instruments, including a piano, are floating in the air. The piano plays the song Scarlet played when she met her wolf, only now the music is discorded and chaotic. The final room leads to fog with disturbing images going across the screen of Scarlet's wolf, Scarlet with tears in her eyes, and order of the piano resumes. Screen fades to black and score is evaluated. 

Interpretation: After playing and reviewing everything I could find about the character without looking at someone else's interpretation, I came to my conclusion. Scarlet's wolf represents failure. Scarlet's life is less to be desired. The only thing that brings her true pleasure is her love of art and music. However, she has no one to share it with. This leaves Scarlet very lonely. While Scarlet does enjoy maintaining order in her home and life, she wants something more. In Scarlet's mind, the only thing that can possibly bring her to find someone who enjoys music as much as she does as well as make sure that her life will be more than just maintaining order is her own talent. 

Scarlet's meeting with her wolf resembles an audition. Her wolf is very stern and seems to be a professional pianist. At the end of the meeting, a curtain is lowered like the audition is over. And Scarlet failed.

After the wolf encounter, Scarlet seems almost disappointed in herself. Her house is a world without art because she wouldn't be able to look at anything beautiful when she herself couldn't create it. Books and order become her life because she could not connect with anyone who loved music without meeting them. All of the instruments are floating just out of Scarlet's reach, almost unattainable. The piano plays her song, highlighting all of the mistakes Scarlet thinks she made. 

After the wolf: It is hard to imagine what happened to Scarlet after her wolf meeting. I seem to imagine that she would be a hollow version of herself. The fear of failure keeps her from ever putting herself out there in order to be recognized as a great pianist. In hopes of avoiding the fear she faced in the woods, Scarlet makes her darkest fear come true. Scarlet believes she must accept that order and loneliness will consume her life because she becomes too afraid that the little voice of doubt would be proven correct: she really isn't good enough. 

(I hope everyone enjoyed my interpretation on Scarlet, and I will work on Carmen's story soon.)

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