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Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Replacement: A tale that should be replaced itself in gothic literature

The short story "Replacements" by Lisa Tuttle fell flat among the quirky melody that we know as gothic literature. Beginning in disarray, I as the reader felt disgruntled as I treaded through the treacherous waters that was this tale's introduction. The content was quite scattered leaving question to what was actually taking place. Disgusted rather than frightened I immediately shared the disdain toward the creature as did the narrator, Stuart Holder. This can only be attributed to the author's artful, descriptive tone. The text reads, "...naked looking with leathery, hairless skin and thin, spiky spiky limbs that seemed to frail to support the bulbous, ill-proportioned ...and a wet slit of a mouth, was like an evil monkey' made a clotted , strangled noise. The sound touched a nerve, like metal between the teeth...mewling and choking and scrabbling, scaly claws flexing and wriggling." (Tuttle 460) Far from being a fan of the plot, Lisa Tuttle, however, was able to evoke within me a sort of sympathy toward the narrator as his wife slowly shut him out. Although one may consider some of my own personal views feministic in nature, I felt contempt toward the women in the story, both Jenny and Frankie whether it was when Jenny refused to compromise on keeping the creature and sacrificed her marriage or letting the creature feast on the blood of her veins.

Although I would consider the content of the story to be odd, vile, and repugnant, Tuttle Overall I would give the story a 2.5. The plot was everything but enchanting containing all from heartbreak, separation and vomit. However, Tuttle executed some very brilliant feats, such her unique representation of gender roles, evoking emotion or utilizing descriptions. For example, Tuttle represented females as the emerging dominant gender as evidenced by Jenny's behavior such as learning to drive, being promoted in her career, or being resolute in her decision to nurture the creature. In addition, she explores on the surface the quality of human nature to obsess over things.

Works Cited

Tuttle, Lisa. “Replacements.” American Gothic Tales. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: Plume, 1996. 460-74. Print. 

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