AnAllegory:St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
Allegoriesare poems, stories or pictures that can be construed to reveal ahidden meaning. They allow readers to get into the authors’ mindsto understand their moral or political perspectives of the world.This paper will analyze the allegory in Karen Russell’s shortstory.
Thestory recounts the experiences of young werewolves who are taken tomission school to be converted to be young ladies. Russell narratesthe uncomfortable transformation of the young werewolves, who hadbeen used to a life in the forest. They had to learn to be human,walk on two feet, adopt human names, dress, eat and speak likehumans. While transition was easy for some of them, others likeMirabella had a hard time letting go of her animal nature andconforming to acceptable norms, which led to her being kicked out ofthe school.
Thestory allegorizes the assimilation of the natives into the Europeanand American cultures. Just like the natives, the wolves in the storylived in forests, caves, ate wild foods, and spoke in indecentlanguages (Russell, 238). The story also alludes to the struggle thenatives went through in an attempt to adopt a new culture and abandontheir own. Russell describes how the young werewolves had a hard timeletting go the habit of ‘roaming the grounds and wagging theirtails” (240). Besides, they did not have much of a choice, since itwas either they accepted assimilation or be cast out of the ‘AmericanLifestyle’ as depicted by Mirabella’s eviction from the school.
Russellalso notes that the werewolves knew their place in the new society(241) and “As soon as we realized that someone higher up in thefood chain was watching us, we wanted only to be pleasing in theirsight” (245). This statement allegorizes the colonialism era, wherenatives were forced to submit to European authority and adopt‘civilized’ cultures.
Russell,Karen. “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised By Wolves,” (2006).Web.