Post by friendofvfd on Nov 21, 2012 4:09:32 GMT -5
I don't know if this has already been discussed, but, now that I'm re-reading ASOUE, and I'm almost done with TWW, the Baudelaire's have once again met the person who "looks like neither a man nor a woman". Well what does everyone think the gender/sex of this person really is? Is zie male or female, or is zie a hermaphrodite? I was reading through different sites and Sunny at one time referred to hir as "Orlando"? And in the film zie is referred to as "Liza". It's kind of interesting. What does anyone else think? And also, why can this person apparently not be able to speak? Zie can really only make strange sounds and shrieks.
Oh and by the way, I have not yet read WCTBATH. Hopefully there are no spoilers into this person's past in that book if there are any?
I'd suggest that this person isn't necessarily a hermaphrodite, just so outlandishly ogreish that it's difficult to identify them as human, and therefore difficult to identify a gender. It doesn't really matter, I would say. Probably Handler didn't have either sex in mind.
In TBB s/he is indeed described as an "enormous creature," so the idea concerning dehumanization isn't unfounded. The encounter in TWW is a bit more comical in its interactions, I think, but overall I'm not really sure we're meant to identify the person as either gender. Are there not other troupe members we never see speak? Possibly not, but I don't think this particular figure has many scenes in which s/he is given the opportunity. Or perhaps the inability to produce speech is meant to signal a lack of intelligence.
Last Edit: Nov 21, 2012 8:30:34 GMT -5 by Sherry Ann
I would agree that the enormous henchman's lack of speech suggests lack of intelligence; its brutish portrayal in TWW is consistent with THH. I'd be surprised if the fact that it never speaks is pure accident and it can actually communicate perfectly ordinarily.
Post by Terry Craig on Nov 21, 2012 10:22:22 GMT -5
I always imagined that character like the killer from the (original) Texas Chainsaw Massacre without the mask. It is later revealed that it's a woman, but she has the corpus of a fat man and can only make shrieking noises. So... pretty ickleing creepy.
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Post by friendofvfd on Nov 21, 2012 21:18:26 GMT -5
Yeah, I'm going to have to agree that maybe this person is just not very intelligent. Considering that this person actually has had opportunities to speak, especially in TWW but instead of answering Violet's question or responding to them, hir just grunts.
Very true, Ernist. On which note, you'd have thought that the immense creature would have been more than able to knock down the door of the room the Baudelaires locked themselves in, but probably it wouldn't have been able to fit through the window even so. Evidently the person erred badly in judging whether to follow the Baudelaires or escape the fire.
Post by Sherry Ann on Apr 21, 2013 18:01:22 GMT -5
I realize the time for mentioning this has long passed, but I've just remembered that hermaphroditism, and in particular the person of indeterminate gender, is discussed heavily in the essay "What, Then, Does Beatrice Mean?"
Last Edit: Apr 21, 2013 18:01:44 GMT -5 by Sherry Ann
That can be read two ways, though: either as having characteristics of both a man and a woman, or just as not looking very like a person at all. The first interpretation is suggested by Sunny's 'Orlando', though, as well as being the line taken by the movie.
'The difference between the two sides of the schism is that one side puts out fires, and the other starts them' - Klaus Baudelaire.
Post by Sherry Ann on Apr 24, 2013 14:10:35 GMT -5
But there is a difference between saying "neither a man nor a woman" and "not like a person at all." Of course, we may indeed have to reference lines other than this one to determine the person's intended identity. He or she is referred to later as an "enormous creature."