Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Sun Jan 16 11:22:25 EST 2000

>Hallie, I'm not a bit offended about your taste differing from mine on
>BEAUTY. ...
> I *love* this sort of thing and this is the only palce I get it!

Good, and me too!  So that's a happy start.  And already you've helped
clarify my thinking.  I was very imprecise when I said that Beauty was
passive.  What I really meant to say was that her role in the story was
passive, not her character.  I liked her too.

>I think the point is, I don't read books for their presentation of
>women or of men. That really doesn't interest me very much. I'm interested
>in character, whether it be male or female, and I like to spend my reading
>time with people I like or admire.

Emphatically true for me also.  I hate heavy-handed feminist rants as much
as I hate sexist ones.  And in fact one of my "books that changed me" list
is about a boy learning to deal with emotional manipulation from a female.
But that's the point for me - he learns to see it for what it is, and
learns not to buy into it.  (That's Cynthia Voigt's A Solitary Blue, BTW,
and that summary is not doing it justice, but I'm just using it as an
example of a *male* character being treated in an emotionally abusive way).

>... and I liked her care and concern for her family,

Again, so did I, and that made it more monstrous for her to have been
forcibly separated from them forever.  (Sorry, pun not intended.)

>I liked Kate in Perilous Gard for the same reasons.

Yes, I love Kate, and part of the rightness of that story is her stubborn
insistance on keeping her mind, instead of letting the Lady "ease her".
Again, it's the story's fitting in with the character, which makes such a
perfect combination.

Polly is a different
>matter; she's far more of a child than the other two, but I liked her

And again, I loved the way she's allowed to learn and grow, and grow into
her role of "Hero", despite her mistakes.

So really, it looks as if my problem is with the story of Beauty and the
Beast.  At any rate when stretched into a full-length book, and not twisted
and strengthened as F & H was from Tam Lin by DWJ.

hallieod at

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