Sunday, November 21, 2010

In which I understand a metaphor

Right, my twitter followers will have seen me gushing about Animal Man recently.  I finally read Grant Morrion's run, then devoured the other 60 odd issues in that run.  It's awesome.  Especially Morrison's run.

One question tho.  It's about the first few issues in the first trade.  Ellen gets attacked and nearly raped in the woods.  The bad guy kills a cat, but the cat's litter survive.  Ellen and her daughter take them back home and try to nurse them back to health.  Ellen gets very upset when one by one the kitten's die, but then she's then very relieved when one survives.

Now, I don't really pick up on metaphors that often.  I only got the Karolina Dean as a lesbian and a living rainbow thing earlier this year when James Ashelford pointed it out to me.  So, if you think about certain slang terms for lady bits, and a colloquial name for a cat, am I seeing a metaphor in Ellen's predicament where there is none?  Do y'all reckon it was a deliberate metaphor?

And isn't it just a bit crass??

Or is it just me?


Ragnell said...
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Ragnell said...

I'm convinced that there is a metaphor in that for Ellen's emotional health after a traumatic experience, but I don't think the metaphor extends to her genitals. The damage to the family of cats, losing the mother and most of the kittens, was too concrete itself to be a metaphor for a body part unless there was an actual physical injury. Ellen wasn't physically injured, she was emotionally injured. The cat and several kittens were physically killed, suggesting the entire metaphor is simply this: When the family of cats is taken as a whole, Ellen's feeling of safety, faith in humanity, and ability to trust was damaged but one spark of innocence remained.

Morrison's default "tug-at-heartstrings" animal in multiple works is the cat. It's a known favorite of his. I don't often say it with Morrison, mainly because there are often so many levels,, but this is probably just a cigar being a cigar.

Saranga said...

Hi Ragnell, thanks for the comment. I think you're probably right. As I said, I'm not particularly good at picking up metaphors, and sometimes what people read into things tells you more about the person themselves than the work they are considering. So thanks for the alternative point of view!