Bed-time musings on character in DWJ

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Tue Nov 14 08:30:46 EST 2000

I suppose there are really what might be considered spoilers for Howl 
and F&H here, though nothing too major.

After turning off the light last night, I started thinking about 
Paul's comment about DWJ playing the character of Miss Smith in 
Dogsbody.  I was wondering whether this was based on the perception 
of (at least a possibility of) character similarity.  That got me 
thinking about Gran in F&H, who's very similar to Miss Smith in a lot 
of ways.  (IMO, but I think I recall, in lots of other people's Os 

I was musing over the fact that I'd always assumed that character 
(the dauntless, doesn't-suffer-fools-gladly, rescuing older woman) 
was based on DWJ's own grandmother if anyone.  Probably working on 
the basis of the grandmother who takes the girls in TotG, and bits 
from the autobiographical sketch.  (Neither of which I've read in a 
while, so I could easily be completely wrong here).

Anyway, that got me thinking about (F&H) Granny, and Polly's belief 
that her grandfather's having been taken by Laurel explained a lot 
about Gran, and a lot about Reg.  I've never been fully satisfied 
exactly what it explained about Reg.

For some reason, it occurred to me then that there was also a 
_potential_ similarity between Reg and Howl, with Reg a True 
slitherer-outer and no mistake!  Sort of what Howl might have been 
had all his bad tendencies been accentuated.  (I have to add here 
that Becca _completely_ disagrees with me on this.)  I suppose 
somewhat in the way it seems Polly could have ended up being like Ivy.

My final thought was that Reg's being with Joanna, was like Howl and 
the Witch of the Waste, but then I remembered wondering whether 
Sophie had done that?  Can't for the life of me remember whether we 
discussed this or not, but I'm thinking of the bit near the beginning 
where she says that the heartless Howl and the Witch of the Waste 
should get together.  I was never clear whether they'd have to have 
been together before Sophie said that or not.

Then I went to sleep! Which is probably what this post will cause 
others to do...


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