Saturday, June 27


I've been thinking a bit more about Bluebeard lately. I've been reading a book about it called "Secrets Beyond the Door" by Maria Tatar. I'm not very far in yet, but I found part of what she has said particularly interesting.

She quotes the movie, The Talented Mr. Ripley, (Josh and I watched this movie on our Honeymoon and I found it particularly disturbing at the time, since Mr. Ripley's talent seemed to be murdering close friends) in which Tom Ripley say's "Don't you put the past in a room, in a cellar and lock the door and just never go there? That's what I do. Then you meet someone special and all you want to do is toss them the key, say open up, step inside, but you can't because it's dark and there are demons and if anybody saw how ugly it was..."

It occurs to me that perhaps BlueBeard himself isn't the monster that the story makes him out to be, so much as he is the monster that we all are. Very few of us have murdered people the way Tom Ripley had, but we all harbor secrets of things we aren't proud of, or parts of ourselves that we instinctively know are not socially acceptable in some way. As in The Crane Maiden we might just be trying to protect the last private parts of ourselves from a spouse- to whom there are no longer any other private parts.

I find myself feeling sort of sorry for BlueBeard today. It seems he wanted to share all of himself with his wife, but the closest he could come was to trust her with the key to his secret.

1 comment:

Daniela said...

You might enjoy reading Angela Carter's version of the Bluebeard story, "The Bloody Chamber" (the title story in a weird and wonderful collection of modern retellings of traditional fairy tales). Of course, if you want to feel really sorry for a Bluebeard-type, you should spend time re-reading Jane Eyre!