Wolf-Alice

Robyn Horne
Mind Map by Robyn Horne, updated more than 1 year ago
Robyn Horne
Created by Robyn Horne over 6 years ago
37
1

Description

Mind Map on Wolf-Alice, created by Robyn Horne on 05/11/2015.

Resource summary

Wolf-Alice
  1. Characters
    1. Wolf-Alice
      1. 'Nothing about her is human except that she is not a wolf; it is as if the fur she thought she wore had melted into her fur and become a part of it, although it does not exist.'
        1. Wolf-Alice inhabits the liminal space between the human and the beastly
          1. Sense of otherness as she belongs to neither world
            1. Carter describes that she is 'human manquée not beast plus'
              1. Thus perhaps the implication that this is what humans are themselves, we should somewhat alter the definition of humanity to incorporate a small level of beastliness?
                1. In this way, our exterior wold reflect our interior (much like the fur becoming a part of her), and fit with Carter's views on materialism
                  1. 'In order to be something over any sustained length of time, it is necessary to be it.'
                  2. Removing the liminal space between interior and exterior will empower men and women?
              2. Her duality
            2. 'She inhabits only the present tense... the world of sensual immediacy as without hope as it is without despair.'
              1. Much like killing the grandmother in The Werewolf, reflects the idea (revenance) of not letting the past control our present
                1. Eg females not trying to disown their past treatment/ patriarchy, but move on from it and be empowered
                  1. 'She would be the bud of flesh in the kind lion's mouth: but how can the bitten apple flesh out its scar again?'
                    1. Biblical reference with idea of Eve as fallen woman- yet in contrast wolf-alice lives in present and thus is not fallen
                      1. Portraying female's burden of patriarchy that they endure even today
                2. 'She...crouched, trembled, urinated, defecated- reverted entirely, it would seem, to her natural state.'
                  1. Beastliness is natural to her before she is preconditioned by society
                    1. Shows the effect of society on humans
                      1. (referencing the burial of her rags) 'it was not fastidiousness but shame that made her do so.'
                        1. L'enfant sauvage
                          1. A person with naive undisciplined behaviour due to youth or inexperience
                            1. Implied liminal space between childhood and adulthood- puberty
                            2. Rationality vs wild behaviour
                  2. The Duke
                    1. 'The Duke is sere as old paper; his dry skin rustles against the bed sheets... his legs scabbed with old scars...'
                      1. Unlike other Beasts/ male protagonists (marquis for example) there is nothing attractive about him at all
                        1. Thus the character's concluding equality highlights Carter's desire for males to be liberated from the constraints of patriarchy also
                          1. Once patriarchy is no longer important, there is no longer need for males to fulfil its stereotypes also
                            1. Thus, in terms of the book's structure, this shows progression as the concluding story
                            2. The story ends with 'the face of the Duke.'
                        2. 'His eyes see only appetite.'
                          1. 'These eyes open to devour the world in which he sees, nowhere a reflection of himself; he passed through the mirror and now, henceforward, lives as if upon the other side of things.'
                            1. The idea that him and Alice are doppelgängers
                              1. Both inhabit a liminal space of otherness, neither human nor beast.
                        3. Symbolism
                          1. The mirror
                            1. 'The rational glass, the master of the visible.'
                              1. Carter regarded materialism as the only way to view the world
                                1. 'So images, however deceptive they might be, are important in knowing who we are and what we are becoming.'
                              2. Links to a dozen mirrors on the ceiling of the Marquis bedroom
                                1. Yet the mirrors that, in The Bloody Chamber, fragment the image of the female protagonist, making her passive subject, have the opposite effect in Wolf-Alice
                                  1. '...yet her relation with the mirror was now far more intimate since she knew she saw herself within it.'
                                    1. She becomes active subject when realising that the mirror reflects herself and accepting her true nature, females empowered by accepting the horror of their beastly natures
                                      1. Quote about learning to run with the lions
                                2. This story and entire book should act as a mirror to its reader?
                                  1. 'We secluded her in animal privacy out of fear of her imperfection because it showed us what we might have been.'
                                    1. Elements of the uncanny as it reflects 'disguised and distorted yet inalienable images of our own repressed desire.'
                              3. Form and structure
                                1. Easy to compare to BC and show the progression of Carter's viewpoint
                                  1. Generally 3rd person form- fairytales etc
                                    1. At one point shifts to the female protagonist's perspective?
                                      1. (referencing the Duke) 'poor wounded thing... locked half and half between such strange states, an aborted transformation, an incomplete mystery.'
                                  2. Setting
                                    1. The duke's mansion
                                      1. his bedroom is like 'the interior of an Iberian butcher's shop...'
                                        1. 'a gloomy mansion'
                                          1. 'that exiled place'
                                            1. Something which should be powerful and impressive and yet is underwhelming
                                              1. Like the Duke himself?
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