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House with Clocks in its walls

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York University
EN 3174
Alison Halsall

The White Witch  Authoritarian figure  Provokes winter that never ends  Bloodlessness, cruelty, and death  Like the medusa  Deceitful and manipulative  Lilith – baby stealer, mother of demons, succubus, Adam’s first wife. The woman before Eve.  Created at the same time of Adam, created out of the ground as well. This is different from Eve. She tries to assert her authority over Adam, but Adam rejects her. Lilith does not like this, escapes from the Garden, and is replaced by Eve.  Eve was not on the same level as Adam as she was not made like him or from him.  Figure that earned herself a revival in the 19 century literature.  Anima in men, White Witch’s assiociation with evil was inheirited from Lilith. Lack of human characteristic’s is what makes her evil.  Page 81, there is not a drop of human blood within her, this is why she is evil.  White Witch vs. Mrs. Colter. They both have a refinement, not a warm beauty. They both deceive children. Mrs. Coulter  Beauty and power, grace, glamour subdue the children so that they willingly come with her to the North. She can’t be threatning.  Capasity fir deceit signaled by doemon  monkey that is beautiful but threatning  Stalked her first victim, premeditiated  Appeals to Tony through his empty stomach, a flatterer like the White Witch  Plants the seeds of adventure in Lyra’s head, with her own ideas of the north in Lyra  Ruthlessness and violence – most in this novel. Teaches the unteachable lyra in grace. Lasting affect on how Lyra contorts herself.  Her daemon gives it away, cannot hide her deceit.  Stereotypical female threatening figures.  Fear of abandonment Parental Figures  fear of abandonment  orphaned at a young age  Lyra as an orphan, has surrogate parental figures  Gyptians - > Learns of her real parents through this group of people  Biological parents unable to take care of her  Predatory aspects of adult child relationships.  Mrs. Coulter is her mortal enemy, Lord Asriel is completely take up with his desire to learn of the North  Lyra creates her own stories to help her cope with the relaities of her own exisitance  Inventing a history for herself  Parents therefore betray Lyra  Different types of parental figures in her life.  Lyra is awestruck by Mrs. Coulter and her glamor, but turns away from him in favor of Lord Asriel  Predominate feelings – fear, a respect from her, as a link to knowledge. He is animal like, moving as a wild animal does. (13)  Pullman refuses to endorse an unrealistic vision of family life.  Lyra’s parents are her prinicipale enemies. Lord Asriel kidnaps her best friend Roger, using him as a lab rat, in the interest of science. Kills Roger  Showdown between father and child is very significant, seeking love from surrogate father figures, rather than from her biological father.  … Children’s Gothic  Creepy picture books, spiderwick, twilight. Etc.  Fear as dominant mode of enjoyment for young readers  Critic Dale Townshed: 18 century children’s lit, emerged as reaction to adult gothic romances.  Perverse, sexuality  18 century children were directed towards instructional (didactic) texts.  Children were very drawn to the gothic stories, children have always had a want for ghosts and goblins, hauntings and horrors, fear and pretense of fear.  John Locke critized Gothic genre because of its destructive effects on children  Gothic literature provoked creation of more morally “uplifting” Thoughts concerning education  Take away their inherit goodness, last their entire lifetime  Nefarious effects the gothic works would have on children  Gothic seen as unrespectable literature at the time. They define each other. Culturally approved literature is everything that is not approved, created in opposition to each other  Acceptable form vs. the unacceptable form. Literary and the popular  The gothic has had a place in the popular.  Woodsworth – gross and violent stimulant. Gothic ficition was not sophisticated, not educating its readers, which was seen as an essential bit of children’s literature.  However, it was unstoppable, influence from Jane Eyre. Creative possibilities offered by the gothic  Gothic house very similar to intricacies of the mind  Often a place, a haunted house, haunted by a past that remain present  As a child grows, good and bad expiences, memory, intricate passages where history is lost, and resserted at uncanny times  Child’s mind is crowded, body changes in uncomfortable ways.  Transformations in the house relate to Lewis himself. Nightmares that signal the psyche being distressed.  House as a house, as a metaphorical landscape, and what it can be.  The enemy, Lord Voldemort, Count Olaf. Voldemort provides information about the entire story…  Ambiguously attractivity of the villain, the moral line is always maintained. Evil is always evil, no matter what. To expel the evil/corruption as soon as possible.  There is no notion that evil is misunderstood or can be forgiven,  Combining flamboyance, power that is compelling, strangely.  Evil desires refuse to controlled.  Aspects of self and other. Characters that satifiy needs of evil or antisocial tendencies. What makes the gothic so appealing to the child? 1. Supernatural characteristics, does not happen in real life, different realm, not common, extraoridinary. 2. Fear at the root of gothic is more personal, strikes at the audiences roots. 3. Expierence the vicarious danger while in a safe place. Appeal of the gothic  Safe distance between reader and the text  Offers temporary danger, appeal of danger. Entice us to be more daring, than our lives would allow.  A safe space for fear. Paradoxical. Safely indulge our curiousity of death and danger  Warns us of dangers that are close to the famil
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