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Re: I Don't Get It

_Deerskin_ is based on a fairy tale, and the point of many fairy tales is how to grow up, how to learn to live, how to move past your pain and become a whole person. The end of the novel is a tying-up of all of Lissar's pain, and her final confrontation of the truth. She dyes her hair red with blood and becomes Lissar physically again (at least to the point she can be recognized) -- then she returns to him all the pain he forced upon her, symbolized by the menstrual blood. Then Lissar's mother appears, a ghost that haunted her father (he raped Lissar in a drive to capture the ghost) to try to dominate her daughter's life again. But Lissar repels the ghost, and the painting burns, and her father ages. Having faced her past, Lissar is finally strong enough to go on and claim life and love with Ossin.

Feel free to differ with me--this is just my interpretation. It's probably the most overwritten passage in all of McKinley (though IMO some parts of RD compete with that), and it does go on and on and on; but it also ties everything up in classic fairy-tale fashion, and it permits Lissar to heal enough that the ending with Ossin can happen (which is so wonderful that what comes before can be forgiven).

From: Cheryl K
Sunday, September 28, 1997 at 18:29:46 (EDT)