Tag: witches

  • When The Sky Is Like Lace by Horwitz and Cooney Analysis

    When The Sky Is Like Lace cover

    When The Sky Is Like Lace house

  • Women and Cats in Art

    There is a strong link between women, girls and cats. In fiction, for instance, women are frequently described as cats (and also as birds).

  • The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg Picturebook Analysis

    The Widow's Broom Chris Van Allsburg cover

    “The Widow’s Broom” is a 1992 picture book by American author illustrator Chris Van Allsburg. Like many of Van Allsburg’s books, this one remains popular with teachers, partly because this is a storyteller who requires the reader to do a little work. Students can practise their inference skills in class. Like all good stories which […]

  • Fear of Engulfment in Storytelling

    There’s a very good reason why girls should be told the truth about baby-making as soon as they ask: If she’s old enough to be asking, she’s old enough to be worrying. Unless they’re told exactly how pregnancy happens, young girls often worry that it may happen to them at any time, without warning. The…

  • Dead Calm Film Study

    Dead Calm movie poster landscape

    Sometimes horror movies are even more terrifying when read metaphorically. In Dead Calm, the story of a husband and wife at sea with a murderous intruder is bad enough, but what if the murderer doesn’t exist? Dead Calm is a well-executed but outdated psychological horror, adapted in 1989 for film from a 1963 novel by…

  • The Symbolism of Broomsticks

    Henry Meynell Rheam - A Maid Sweeping

    Broomsticks are useful storytelling symbols that serve double duty — they are a symbol of female oppression (tied to the house and the drudgery of housework) but also, by leap of imagination, turn into a vehicle by which to escape. Broomsticks may keep a woman housebound, but also afford the imaginative freedom to fly. Which…

  • The Gingerbread House In Hansel And Gretel

    When artists choose to illustrate a single narrative moment, they make a choice of lasting importance, because their illustration creates a memorable impression for an entire story, one that visually anchors an impression of that story in its reader’s memory. Illustration history is full of such memorable moments. In the illustration history of Grimm’s Tales, one image predominates, that of “Hansel and Gretel” beginning to eat the witch’s house.

  • A Glossary of Witch Words

    Circe offering the Cup to Ulysses

    The definition of witch changes over time. The word witch dates from around 800 AD. It originally referred to men who practise witchcraft but 200 years later referred to female magicians and sorceresses. Later it meant women who were meant to cooperate with the devil or other evil spirits.

  • Burlesque Witches In Storytelling

    Witches have a long history in storytelling, but they aren’t always scary. They aren’t always Baba Yaga types, sometimes murderous, sometimes helpful. There’s another variety of crone who is a ribald storyteller. She’s related to the classic witch, but her function in stories is quite different. She is known as the burlesque witch. For a…

  • The Ritual (2017) Film Study

    The Ritual Film Poster

    “The Ritual” is a horror film directed by David Bruckner, adapted by Joe Barton from Adam Nevill’s novel. Although this film is pretty standard in its tropes and structure, the CGI monster makes the viewing experience truly scary. This article says more about the monster and its basis in Swedish folklore.

  • Bedrock by Annie Proulx Short Story Analysis

    bedrock annie proulx

    “Bedrock” is a short story from Annie Proulx’s collection Heart Songs, published 1999. This is a subversive feminist tale, which challenges the readers assumptions about ‘gold-digger’ women and especially those we dismiss as ‘rednecks’. “Bedrock” makes a good mentor text if you: Are writing a story in which the reader is asked to switch sympathies,…

  • Baba Yaga: Witch or old woman?

    Baba Yaga is a legendary Slavic witch, or a hag, who lives in a hut that stands on chicken legs and who flies through the air in a mortar.