Journal of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride
The princess bride is an incredibly entertaining book. Although it was written mostly as a parody it contains many themes. The developments seen in the dynamic characters are astounding ones. The theme, or motif, which I’m going to follow through the story is that of Fezzik and his quest for self confidence and a good self image. From the time that the novel starts to the end, Fezzik achieves a good self image. He starts out with a very low self image and, by the end, he finds in himself talents that give him a better image of himself.
To begin with, Vizzini never allows Fezzik to provide an sort of input or to think in any way. When Fezzik, inigo and Vizzini first kidnap buttercup, Fezzik attempts to offer some good ideas, but Vizzini will have none of it.
”I think we should kill her now’;, the Turk said.
‘The less you think, the happier I’ll be,’; The Scilian answered’;. (Page 83)
And later on the same page:
‘…the Turk mumbled. ‘people are always thinking that I’m so stupid because I’m big and strong and sometimes drool a little when I get excited.’;’;
”The reason people think you’re so stupid,’; the Scilian said, ‘is because you are so stupid. It has nothing to do with your drooling.’;’; Vizzini manages, with his constant verbal attacks on Fezzik to destroy any shred of confidence that Fezzik may have had before. Vizzini’s ego is getting in the way of Fezzik.
From a very young age Fezzik was taunted by his school mates.
‘At first, naturally, they were scared to death (even then Fezzik looked fierce) but once they found out he was chicken, well, they weren’t about to let an opportunity like that get away;#8230;it would go on like that until Fezzik would burst into tears and run away.’; People never gave Fezzik any sort of chance. He has always been considered a fool out loud. Luckily he had his rhymes to comfort him.
When Vizzini dies, although it leaves Fezzik in a lot of despair, it is probably the best thing for him. The stopping of Vizzini’s verbal attacks allow to build his confidence. I think that the first big confidence building experience for Fezzik is when Inigo begs him for help. From page 224:
‘…Fly, Fezzik; this is Inigo begging you– make a path—please!’;
Well, Fezzik had rarely had anyone beg him for anything, least of all Inigo,’;
Fezzik begins to feel needed and this is a big step for him. On page 233, ‘;#8230;so he smiled and clapped Fezzik on his great shoulder for the good fellow he was.’; Fezzik is now realizing the progression that Fezzik has made and now is able to appreciate him more for it.
The biggest boost for Fezzik comes later in the same chapter when Inigo and Fezzik get attacked by the giant snake. Page 235:
‘Fight it Fezzik;#8212;’
‘It’s too strong for me—’
‘Nothing is too strong for me—’
Inigo’s confidence in Fezzik’s unlimited strength is partly what gives the giant the confidence to defeat the snake, and save their lives.
The final chapter of Fezzik’s confidence is when inigo comes to the window of the castle leading the four whites. Inigo responds positively.
”Fezzik, you thought for yourself,’; he said’; (page 280)
With this simple compliment inigo had instilled in his friend a confidence that Vizzini had taken away from him. How great for Fezzik to have friends like that. At last he believed in himself.
Fezzik started with a very low self image, but he slowly learned that people needed him and that he was wanted. His building confidence gave him the ability to believe in himself and to think for himself.