TheIdea of Consumption in ‘Carpe jugulum’ and ‘Spirited Away’

Theissue of consumption revolves throughout the movie and Carpejugulumand symbolizes various phenomena such as life, death, achievement,failure, and freedom. Consumption of stories and words aims atdescribing various events and achieving certain desirable outcomes.On the other hand, consumption of objects such as food and watermostly symbolizes good for the user. However, when consumptioncombines with greed the outcome is always bad. Examining the way ofconsumption by the characters in both Carpejugulumand SpiritedAway,we note various similarities and differences.

Consumptionof Words and Stories

Lookingat the structure and themes in ‘Carpe jugulum’ and ‘SpiritedAway’, there are numerous similarities and differences in themanner the authors demonstrate the idea of consumption. Firstly,Carpejugulumuses stories to establish the scene right from the beginning. Theauthor narrates that Margpyr, together with the family received aninvitation to the identification of King Verence’s and Magratdaughter arranged by Mightily Oats, who was an Omnian priest. Afterthe end of the ceremony, Verence informed Agnes Nitt and Nanny Oggabout Count information that Magpyr and the family aimed to go andtake over into Lancre Castle. Because of a kind of hypnotism, allindividuals appear to invite the plan perfectly (Croft152).However, the author narrates that Agnes, the youngest Witch, as wellas Mightily Oats, appear to have the capability of resisting thevampiric influence of the mind because of their multiplepersonalities. The capability of resisting influenced Vlad, Magpyrson, to develop interest in Agnes and started making efforts toinfluence her to accept many things including becoming a scrounger orvampire. The consumption of stories in this case enabled the authorto set the scene and shade clear light regarding the important themesthat the story will address (Croft151).

Onthe other hand, consumption of words occupies the most important partof the movie and reveals the way the characters relate (Napier287).During the first enslavement of Chihiro and her ultimate escape,words played an important role. Yubaba and Haku understood thestrength of words right from the initial stage and Chihiro receivedwarning from Haku not to let Yubaba disturb her from seeking foremployment. Yubaba takes control of Chihiro every time she attemptsto speak about other subjects. Therefore, Chihiro needs to carefully,select the most appropriate words and speak only the most importantpoints to be able to convince Yubaba to provide her with whatever shewanted. Finally, the advice saved Haku and Yubaba efforts indisrupting Chihiro on the plan to secure employment by mentioning theone who assisted her. In addition, when Chihiro speaks the wrongstatement or speaks more than what is important, Kamaji and Lin’slives will be in danger. Therefore, both the Carpejugulumand SpiritedAwayreveal high consumption of stories and words respectively.

Consumptionof Food

Theconsumption of food is another important event in both the book andthe movie and can be a source of good or bad conduct. In SpiritedAway,food is very powerful and a major source of desirable and undesirableevents (Reider4).Food sets all Chihiro’s adventure at the beginning of the movie.Chihiro’s parents consumed food and found themselves abandoned inthe amusement park and turned into pigs, forcing Chihiro to plan howshe could assist them. Furthermore, greedy ‘No-Face’ is incapableof filling himself even when he ate and ate continuously. Greed andfood were in all cases a harmful amalgamation, but mostly food alonewas an import source of comfort and unity. For instance, Hakuencourages Chihiro to consume food provided by the spirits to preventher from disappearing. In addition, He gives Chihiro his food, whichhe put spell to re-establish her power. Afterwards, Chihiro and Senfed No-Face and Haku with a unique cake to prevent the adverseeffects caused by the things they had consumed. In addition, No-Faceunderstood the high comfort that food could cause and, therefore, hesubstituted it to become a champion. Similarly, in Carpejugulum,Magpyr family does not have a good understanding of the problem butthey started consuming bizarre cravings for ‘biscuits, hot andstrong tea’ that helped them to feel relieved.

Consumptionof Water

Justlike food, consumption of water is important in signifying varioussituations and phenomena such as spiritualism, autonomy or evil. Forexample, in SpiritedAway,water signifies life, death, freedom, and entrapment (Reider4).Chihiro, when she tried to move away from the abandoned melodyestate, she discovered that the previous ground that was dry turnedinto a big water body that she could not cross. In addition, Senworked in the bathhouse that relied on water for its existence. Thisenabled her to live safely in the world of spirits. Apart from that,Sen rescued a spirit of polluted river by pouring over him a largeamount of water. During the process, Sen was about to drown but thespirit placed her in a special protective bubble to prevent anypotential harm, which contributed greatly towards her liberty.Afterwards, Sen took Haku out of prison after realizing that he was atrue river of spirit. The assistance she offered was a type ofgratitude because one time in the past, Haku rescued Chihiro when shefall into the river. Similarly, in Carpejugulum,consumption of water signifies spirituality. For example, in fightingagainst Magpyrs, Igor and Nanny used a substantial reserve of ‘holywater’ together with other spiritual symbols collected initially byCount, known for being a sportsman (Croft163).In this case, just like with the consumption of food, water acts toproduce favorable outcome. However, the consumption in SpiritedAwayis more and in more critical conditions that raise more suspense.


Tocontinue, greediness is a common feature that drives or influencesmany actions and events in both the story and the movie. In SpiritedAway,both spirits and humans are greedy and their greediness has alwaysbeen destructive (Napier289).Chihiro, in the beginning of the movie, is greedy regarding theattention of her parents. Therefore, she complained, whined andconverted the understanding of her home and town. The greedy ofChihiro’s parents caused them to consume food that made them tobecome pigs. The pigs are also a symbol of greediness or desire toconsume everything unselectively. The greed of the bathhouse workersblinds them to present jeopardies like the ‘No-Face’. Haku isalso greedy for strength to intercept that of Yubaba. In addition,greedy makes Haku not to go home. Yubaba is also greedy and thiscaused her to assist the characters that eventually causedestruction. Greed prevents the characters from attaining theircomplete potential as persons or spirits.

Similarly,greed influences bad decisions in Carpejugulum(Croft162).Granny Weatherwax is greedy because she felt very undermined when shedoes not receive invitation to attend the ceremony. This caused herto leave her cottage empty and appeared to be working in a cave likea loner. In addition, Magpie greedy influenced her to stealWeatherwax’s invitation. Weatherwax’s refused to assist Lancreeven after Agnes, Ogg, and magrat convinced her. However, in Carpejugulum, greedy is less destructive than in Spirited Away, becauseonly some few characters show high tendencies of greediness.


Theissue of consumption featured extensively in both Carpejugulumand SpiritedAwaywith major objects consumed being, stories, words, food, water, andflight. Consumption was mostly for the benefit of the user butsometimes produced undesirable effects. In addition, the desire toconsume sometimes leads to certain undesirable acts that cause harmto some characters. However, in most cases, consumption signifiesdesirable outcomes such as freedom, life, spiritualism andchampionship. Despite the numerous similarities, SpiritedAwayshows greater flexibility in the consumption of the various objectsthan Carpejugulum.


Croft,Janet Brennan. &quotNice, good, or right: faces of the wise woman inTerry Pratchett`s&quot witches&quot novels.&quot Mythlore26.3-4 (2008): 151-165.

D`Ammassa,Don. EncyclopediaOf Fantasy And Horror Fiction.New York: Facts on File, Inc, 2013.

Napier,Susan Jolliffe. &quotMatter out of place: carnival, containment, andcultural recovery in Miyazaki`s Spirited Away.&quot TheJournal of Japanese Studies32.2 (2006): 287-310.

Reider,Noriko T. &quotSpirited Away: Film of the fantastic and evolvingJapanese folk symbols.&quot FilmCriticism29.3 (2005): 4.