Sophie Hatter Defies Conventions

Howl's Moving Castle (Sophie Hatter Defies Convention)Sophie is liberated by the Witch of the Waste’s curse, as it removed her from her assigned “failure” role to finding her own agency; “It was odd.  As a girl, Sophie would have shriveled with embarrassment at the way she was behaving.  As an old woman, she did not mind what she did or said.  She found that a great relief” (Jones 66).  The self-imposed title of “failure” is displayed by the Witch of the Waste’s spell on Sophie, the spell being Sophie’s primary obstacle to overcome, hoping to find meaning in her “failure.”

When Sophie is transformed into a crone her reaction is not typical of a fairy tale heroine, saying, “Don’t worry old thing…this is much more like you really are” (Jones 33), as she examined herself in the mirror.  When Sophie Hatter is transformed into a crone, bravely leaves Market Chirping regardless of advanced age, with more vitality as a crone than as an 18-year-old, the character instructs readers to question and resist social assumptions in the development of individual identity. Continue reading “Sophie Hatter Defies Conventions”

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Dorian’s Want for Birthday Parties

The power went out on my block last night, delaying yesterday’s Vagabond Ways themed post.

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Growing up I wanted a surprise birthday party a home filled with joy and people that wanted to be there – like what I saw in my mom and dad’s old blu-rays.  That dream never come true, even in grade-school when it was mandatory to report to a classmate’s birthday.  What I feared was not getting older, but that no one would come to a birthday for me.  My parents’ constant migration following the Huxia Rejenys flotillas, based upon access to knowledge and culture that would help them in their accumulations, kept my social circle small and intimate to just myself and my books.

While in Huxia, my parents celebrated my sixteenth milestone two months late because they couldn’t be bothered to take time off from research and worship.  I stopped sending invitations and chose to ignore celebration, taking enjoyment only from cards – and then settle for Facebook birthday posts.  My birthday became where I learned to exist within the cracks, becoming the excuse for wanting to avoid any fuss that would draw attention.

Eventually, at 16 I left the flotillas and headed to the family estate in Pentapolis of the Valley, working my way across Bharat as an artist’s model; I never considered myself the prettiest, but I smiled deceptively locking myself in another mind.  After Bharat, I took an ocean-liner back to Biell, in The Valley.  Having graduated high school early I treated what would’ve been senior year as a skip year.  During this time, I hung with the freaks and the wild ones, drank and got into drugs.  I lived hard in every moment. I joined Blithedale, and met Michel Caillois, who I wanted to teach me how everything worked.

At Aerynd University I avoided most social circles, believing they’d peak beneath my mask and judge me inappropriate – or worse, inadequate.  Around friends, I remained shy as if they were strangers because facades kept everyone at an arm’s length.  It was simpler to cover my self-consciousness and inferiority beneath masks, that were fashioned for inclusion by adopting specific friend-interests, and sub-cultures, and abandoning my own.