Bed-time musings on character in DWJ

Nat Case ncase at hedbergmaps.com
Tue Nov 14 17:01:45 EST 2000


Hallie wrote:

>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.

To me, Reg inherited the amorality of Faerie... not doing the right 
thing, but what you feel like. What was Granny's curt phrase... "I 
don't do it to be thanked." And the sort of home he moved into feels 
like a pale imitation of faerie: the shiny bathroom, the tinkly music.

>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.

One of my favorite things about F&H is how it points to the universal 
process of moving from childhood feelings of helplessness under 
capricious parents to adult realizations of how human and fallible 
our parents are. Polly's last go-round with Ivy could have been done 
a lot of ways, but I think it's mix of anger and pity are really 
wonderfully true to life.

It's a pretty common theme in DWJ, isn't it? artfully showing how we 
pull back the curtain from the real Wizards of Oz, mostly in parental 
figures.

Nat
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