[DWJ] Re: (now with minor^Wmajor spoilers for Dark Lord of Derkholm)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Mon May 8 03:32:59 EDT 2006

>  >
>>My view is actually that it's possibly [4]: that author's intent
>>may not have been to write a gang rape scene, but given that a
>>quick google tells me I'm far from the only person who sees it
>>that way, it is certainly readable as one in the text, and so any
>>interpretations that rely on it as a problematic rape are valid
>I tend to agree with you on this.  Even if it wasn't rape (and for the
>record, I do see it as rape) it was still a hideous, sexually-oriented
>attack.  You have a pack of hardened criminals who have already been leering
>aggressively at Shona, and their attack on her had all the marks of a
>specifically sexual assault.  But let's say for the moment that whether or
>not it was rape, it was on a level with some of the physical assaults on
>other characters, such as Derk's being so severely burned.  Derk's recovery
>is painful and long even when aided by magic.  Shona's recovery compresses
>what would normally take weeks or months into a matter of seconds.  The
>implication to me is that a sexual (mental) trauma can be healed far more
>easily than physical damage, and I'm not happy with that.  Yes, some rape
>victims do recover that quickly, but not all of them, and I think it
>trivializes the latter group's struggles to imply that "getting over it" is
>just that easy.

FWIW, I'm in this group as well, and was on my first read.  I read 
the scene as in all probability rape, and as Melissa says, even if it 
wasn't, etc.

It's not the only thing I find very disturbing in the book either - 
as I've said before, I find Derk's breeding of his children deeply 
upsetting.  For me, this is one of the places where the expansion of 
the brilliant satire of Tough Guide into a novel with developed, 
sympathetic characters just doesn't work well.


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