symbolism, critical analysis... sometimes we just overdo it. Books
have been used to propel ideas through subtle references and
metaphor, and often the reader easily gets the point: Narnia is about
Christianity for instance, but no one would really describe this as
classic book becomes divorced from its historical context over the
years. Or the intent of the author is ignored in favour of some other
unintentional message, or sometimes the public as a whole just
doesn't really 'do' nuance. And of course occasionally the movie is
just a bad adaptation.
It raises an
interesting question of who decides what the meaning of a work truly
is: is it the person who planned and executed the storytelling or is
it the person who in the end will pay for and consume the work? It
can be argued that as the consumer and members of the court of public
opinion that we decide what the true meaning is. But when a person
takes the time to write the damn thing we should at least assume they
get a pretty big say in the matter.
But sometimes a
work is created to carry a specific meaning and instead of
attributing some outside truth, we instead suggest it's about ghosts
or some other nonsense.