DWJ: Howl's Moving Castle question

Elizabeth Parks mep3 at st-andrews.ac.uk
Sat Mar 9 20:10:41 EST 2002


Sally wrote:

I think Howl was already in love, and being "heartless" was just something
he'd talked himself into. He deluded himself into it, just as Sophie did.
After all, he does kind things now and again, even without a heart (which
is
only a blood pump, anyway!)

but--this is Ingary!  OF COURSE the heart is more than a blood pump! (at
least I think so).  Things are Magic!

Okay, end sputtering, start coherent argument (impeded by the fact that
I've leant Howl to my friend down the hall who goes to sleep early).  I
don't think that Howl's heart is all in perfect order--not because he
doesn't settle down until Sophie but becuase he Eats Hearts--there's a
glib attitude towards love from him for most of the book.  Onn the other
hand, he obviously cares for his family in Wales, for Mrs. Prendergast
(sp?), and takes in Michael and Old Sophie.  He obviously isn't without
emotion (wonder how he compares to Mark in DS?), but I'm pretty sure that
the book even says that he lacks the ability to acheive a certain depth of
emotion while the bargain's in place (isn't that part of what they're
worried about?) (thought not in those words, of course).  I also do think
that Howl was already in love with Sophie, but that he couldn't be all the
way in love with her until he had his heart back--maybe he had a sort of
fondness, or knew intellectually that he was probably in love with
her--but I do think that actually physically getting the heart back made a
differnce.  (Though in a way it's just the physical manifestation of a
metaphor, so I'm not sure how much difference it makes).  I do think that
the relationship between Howl and the Witch must have been quite
interesting--I wonder how Calcifer and her demon got along.  The more I
think about it, Sally, the more I think you've got a good point--but I do
think that the actual getting-back-of-the-heart was neccesary for him to
love Sophie.  I remember especially the description of how his eyes
changed--there was defintaely something gone.

. . . though I daresay he used not having a heart as an excuse a time or
two.  To slither out.

lizzie
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