Study Guide

Pan's Labyrinth Choices

Choices

Choices are hard. It's a wide world full of infinite possibilities out there: we're often paralyzed when we have to do something as simple as choose between getting a plain cone or getting a waffle cone. One is so crispy, the other is so sweet…

But whatever decisions you've had to make, hopefully none of them have been as dreadful as those in Pan's Labyrinth: say, choosing between the possible death of your baby brother and your eternal life as a princess.

But Ofelia's not the only one who has to make the tough choices. Even the war between Vidal and the rebels is characterized by choice: Vidal has chosen to be evil and the rebels have chosen to fight evil.

Questions About Choices

  1. Is every action preceded by choice? Do some characters, like Carmen or the rebels, really have the ability to choose?
  2. Some choices in this film are characterized as being the right choice. What makes these choices so right?
  3. Think about some of the film's key choices. How would things have turned out differently if different decisions were made? Ofelia with her brother? Mercedes with the key?

Chew on This

Pan's Labyrinth is a morally black and white film. There are the good guys and the bad guys…and each choice Ofelia is faced with is a choice between right and wrong.

Pan's Labyrinth blurs the line between right and wrong. Each of Ofelia's choices is a step on her journey to reclaim her innocence. Her choices in the supernatural world are not right or wrong, but are instead representative of her experience in the human world.

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