Yesterday in class my group was tasked with discussion “transformation.” Our individual group focused on the presentation of the “grotesque” in the realm of these transformations. I found this to be a very interesting discussion. Why, exactly, are the transformations so, for lack of a better word, disgusting? The squid transformation reads as such: “…the squid opened my skin with its hooks…splitting some number of ribs and also the tissue between…” (164). It is, evidently, unpleasant at best, and horrifying at worst. 

It seemed to me, at least, that this must serve a purpose – but what? Perhaps the intent is to present the grotesque-ness of the husbands actions (that are more emotional and psychological) in a physical and tangible manner. Throughout the novel his actions are told and hinted at, but they are never “in our face” in a way that presents the potential horrors in a way that would ultimately connect with the reader. However, the awful, bloody physical aspects of the novel are obvious and unavoidable. They are seen, and even “felt” by the reader. To present this violence as physical simultaneously presents an emotional violence that may not be presently noted by the reader.


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