The curse that the Witch of the West cast on Sophie heavily depends on her spirit and determination. In the beginning, when she first became old she gives up, but as the movie progresses she gains more courage and as a result became younger. An example of this is when she flies the plane by herself, and escapes from Madame Suliman and crashes into the castle.
She gained confidence from this act, and as a result grew younger for a short period of time. The Witch of the waste is known to be powerful and feared upon by everyone. However, when the witch and Sophie were called to the castle, and they both had to climb the stairs, it started to become clear that her power is in fact all an illusion, and she wasnt as mighty as everyone thought.
Without her henchmen she almost died doing a simple task like walking up the stairs, and when Sophie confronted the witch about the spell she casted on her, she admitted that she doesn’t know how to break the spell. When Suliman changed the witch back to her real appearance, it was evident to the audience that she was such a threat. Her whole identity was in fact an illusion. When Howl’s hair turns red, he says: “I see no point in living if I can’t be beautiful”. He believed that he was only beautiful when he had blonde hair. I think this ideology came from society’s standard in the movie.
People that had brown or black hair were never payed attention to and were not seen as beautiful as blonde people. For example, Sophie’s sister, Lettie got all the attention by men, since she had blonde hair, but everyone ignored Sophie because she had brown.Calcifer says “You shouldn’t keep flying around like that, soon you won’t be able to turn back into a human” I think this is a really important quote and one of the main ideas of the movie. Hayao conveys a message to the audience of never truly forgetting who you are, and accepting yourself since it might lead to drastic consequences of not going back to who you once were in the past