Sunday, September 29, 2013
Week 5 - Witches and the role of Women in Fantasy/Horror
For this weeks reading assignment, I chose to read Black Maria or Aunt Maria. I really enjoyed how Aunt Maria was portrayed as a female character in the book. She never felt flat or uninteresting as a character, and I felt myself getting more and more angry with her demeanor as the book progressed. Mig herself is also a very well-written character, and I really enjoyed the sibling bond and the character development that occurs for Mig after her brother is transformed. Mig herself reminded me somewhat of Gaiman's Coraline. She was kind of strong, but utterly helpless at convincing her mother and is oppressed by her Aunt, or as she calls her, the "Queen Bee". It's easy to identify with a character like Mig, because I think we all have a relative or know someone who is an "Aunt Maria", a sort of mean-spirited person who is somehow able to charm everyone around her, and yet those people seem as impervious as zombies to her true nature. I didn't start liking the character of Mig's mom until she sees Antony Green's ghost and "wakes up" in a way to Aunt Maria's evil plans. I really enjoyed her character after that, and felt like she acted more like a mother, especially when they both transform into cats and time travel back to Antony's burial. I think it's impossible to not feel for the other women who at least try to help Mig... I enjoyed Mrs. Phelps especially because she seemed to want to help Mig learn the truth about Aunt Maria and help get Chris back and learn the truth about her father. Aunt Maria, herself is just no ordinary witch. She was sweetly cruel and vindictive, and the reveal of Naomi's transformation really spoke about the cruel nature of her character, the type of vengeance and grudges that a person as mean-spirited as Aunt Maria could hold. All-in-all, I really enjoyed the twists and turns of Black Maria. I also enjoyed how the witches were not generic but more caricatured versions of women that have extraordinary powers.