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Fear In The Damp And Dark Gap

1250 words - 5 pages

Fear In the Damp and Dark Gap

The usual signification of the French feminist's "gap" transformed by Jack Bushnell from silent entrapment to a meaning that signifies the "gap" as that which frees the other and allows for the generation of a voice of the other's own Circus of the Wolves. The famous masculine--self and feminine--other opposition will be freely utilized with the man and the circus representing the former and Kael and nature the latter. Gaps appear literally and figuratively throughout the text and with each appearance its meaning slowly, slowly, alters in the previously stated manner. Jack Bushnell says in a "Note from the Author" that the of the wolf (other) is "a natural world as distinct and separate from the human (self) world as possible." The place of the Other, in other words, is separated, banished, and excluded from the sphere of self. The circus and the man be self insofar as they confine, harness, and attempt to stand the beauty and wonder of the other by conforming the other into the mold and way of self.


Before going further, it should be noted that any appearance of anthropomorphizing the wolf is only that –appearance. It is the place of the Other that receives the essences of human and not Kael in and of himself. Since Kael occupies the place of the Other the anthropomorphic transgression will seem to apply to the wolf when no actual transgression has occurred. Still, however, Kael must come to sense his occupation of the place of the Other.

Kael falls into the gap constructed by his oppressors "...the damp and dark at the bottom of the hole frightened Kael." Kael's fear is of confinement and the discovery of himself as other. "The damp and dark" are commonly listed as traits of the other or signifiers associated with femininity, and the "gap" is commonly noted to be the lacuna created by the phallocentric language of self due to its inability to fully ascribe traits to the other. Once occupying the place of the Other Kael "spent a long night crying for his mate and for his two pups waiting far away in the den," but from the gap, his voice and his cries go unheard.

In the gap, the place of the Other, Kael is netted, drugged and enslaved. His oppressor appears to him as a man with "blue eyes and golden hair." His oppressor describes and codifies Kael as well as telling kael how he will be treated and what he hopes Kael will become. He tells Kael all this in a language that does not belong to Kael. said,'l hope you will even be happy with us.'"

Keel and the man develop a symbiotic relationship in which both learn from each-other. Kael learns his tricks and rediscovers the power of a voice of his own. The man learns the value of the voice of the other and the necessity for freedom. The man releases or allows, partly, for Kael's escape, and after escape Kael will use his voice "one more...

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