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Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Menglu Cai
Blog #4
Option  5
Intro to Fiction 045

“Replacement” by Lisa Tuttle can be both good and bad. It talks about Stuart Holder finds a lot women has the  creature which he find it scary. From a gothic literature perspective, it is not scary at all.  This is why it is not good.  Unless people who has the same experience as Stuart does, it is really hard for people to think about the creature to be scary, because we know it is not real.  In the story, it describes the creature as : “ the size of a cat, naked looking, with leathery, hairless skin and thin, spiky libs that seemed too frail to support the bulbous, ill-proportioned body…(Tuttle 460)” From my personal perspective, the creature is ugly indeed and sympathy rather than scary. It is the creature that I would as far as I could, instead of stepping on and try to kill it. From this point, I cannot find any common.
                  From the description of the creature, it is really easy for people to think of it as a pet or a baby. When Stuart’s wife-Jenny describes: then I realized how helpless it was. It needed me. It can’t help how it looks. Anyway doesn’t it kind of remind you of the Psammead(Tuttle 464).” Lisa Tuttle was trying to create the uncanny tropes from this. A thing looks or feels familiar with, but not exactly the same.  The creature drinks her blood likes a vampire, but none of the pet and baby does. It is not a good guide for people to feel how scare it is.  In gothic literature, scar is something you know but different. For example, in “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson, it is scary somehow because it is a uncanny scene for the kids. The kids are supposed to be pure and innocent. But in the story, Merricat killed her family when she was 12, and she didn’t feel guilty about it. The description about a kid-Merricat is different from what we know. Then we can think about how scary it is if a kid goes evil. However, in “Replacement” , it is hard to find that clue to guide you to believe and fail in love with this story.
                  On the other hand, the theme for this story is good. It talks about the women’s independence, which makes the men-Stuart nervous. Different than in old times, women, nowadays, is really independent. They become the breadwinner for the family. Women play a large role in the society. They are not the subordinates of the men anymore. Rather, they are the men’s good assistants. For example, Hillary Clinton plays a large role for his husband Bill Clifton when he was a president. She provided strong supported for him. However, Hilary, herself is also quite a figure in her whole political life. There are times, men always think women should be at home and take care the family. However, it is not the case right now. That is why Stuart gets uncomfortable when his wife does not drive him to work. Men sometimes take the women’s kindness as granted. When men loss the women’s care, they miss them.
                  I cannot say “Replacement” is a fun to read, but the theme it presents is important. I do not understand the scare brought by the creature, because since the beginning, it is hard for me to believe that it is real, or really get into the story. However, the information about women’s independence from men is very important.

Tuttle, Lisa. “Replacement”.  American Gothic Tales. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: Plume, 1996. 460-474. Print.  

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