St Sucy's Home For Girls Raised By Wolves Analysis

Play the Even Tenor
In “St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” Karen Russell depicts a group of girls, Claudette, Jeanette, and Mirabella, who become sheltered in a rehabilitation home for girls raised by wolves. Once there, they struggle to assimilate themselves according to the expectations and demands of a different culture or society. Through point-of-view and conflict, Russell divulges the roles that are imposed on individuals when transitioning to a new culture; ultimately revealing the force that it may have on individuals to abandon previous beliefs and relationships.
The point of view of the story reveals a detrimental shift that causes a halt in the girls’ cooperation with each other. On their first day in the home, the girls
…show more content…
The girls have an undoubtedly strong sense of unity and loyalty toward each other. Even in a foreign environment, they are playful and reckless when most would be cautious. Russell combines the girls’ actions and thoughts into a collective point of view, portraying a pack mentality. However, during their time in the home, Russell replaces the collective view to a fitting single person view, shedding light on the girls’ shift from pack mentality to individualized selves. Their sense of understanding each other deteriorates, their motives become selfish and their behaviors cold. Claudette expresses this to her sister Mirabella: “‘Lick your own wounds,’ I said, not unkindly. It was what the nuns instructed us to say” (Russell 273). The nuns are training the wolf-girls to conform and though this act seems harmless, they are robbing the loyalty within the …show more content…
When acting out of character, Claudette is reprimanded by “[watching] another slideshow. This one showed images of former wolf-girls, the ones who failed to be rehabilitated” (Russell 272). The slideshow shown to Claudette is a social guidance presentation. It serves to illustrate and demean unacceptable behaviors in order to coax, or more so, threaten the girls to fit into their expected mold. If they fail to do so, the consequences follow. At the Debutante ball, a wolf-boy interacts with Claudette and while they both fumble upon the new experiences of conversation and dance, it is inevitable that Claudette will slowly break from her human behavior. When Mirabella notices a panicked Claudette, her immediate instinct is to protect her. With Mirabella crowding her, Claudette finds an advantage to protect herself from judgment: “I wanted to roll over and lick her ears, I wanted to kill a dozen spotted fawns and let her eat first. But everyone was watching” (Russell 277). Even though Claudette displays a glimpse of affection for Mirabella, it is washed away by a reminder of her role: to keep society content. Mirabella, the only remaining wolf-girl with a greater sense of morale, tries to protect Claudette from a threatening force. And although, Claudette does receive protection, it is protection of her reputation.

Related Documents