Angie's Reviews > Wise Children

Wise Children by Angela Carter
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's review
Jun 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: classics, english
Read from May 26 to June 16, 2011

** spoiler alert ** This last work of Angela Carter can give us, comparing it with some of her other works, how her writing has evolved into mentioning deeper and more sensitive issues even though she still manages the magic realism, adding the element of irony.

I remember when at school we analized Wise Children, and what bugged me, what we didn't touch in class, and the reason of me reading the novel was to know why Dora and Nora's father denied them as her daughters until he was 100 years old. The cause was what society ususally criticize nowadays despite appearing to be more tolerant and open minded: illegitimacy, children born out of wedlock.

While the story passes, one sees that all the characters, including Dora and the beloved uncle Perry, have faults in their personality, that everybody is in their own thoughts and everybody has their own ghosts to deal with.

The topic of legitimacy is always contradicted although Melchior Hazard has turned the blind eye to the issue since the beginning of his family, evading the real world and making up his own illusions of having a "perfect" family and life. And like every young man, trying to escape from the responsibility and his past mistakes unknowing them even if they still haunt him.

Perry seemed to be the opposite of his brother, a not serious person who is only tied to the "joie de vivre", outshining Melchior with his carnivalesque extravaganza and making him face his own contradictions without malice, being more adventurous and always appearing and disappearing even in the most inesperated moments. However, some of his actions showed that he is also a man who doesn't want to be tied to responsibilities although he has had the nerve to deal with his brother's mistakes.

The borning of twins is essential in the book, showing that all share the same Hazard's "blood" despite their physical appearance (Melchior only acknowledged Saskia and Imogen who had red hair). Although they had arrived at the same time to the world, they have a unique essence and are bound by a strong bond, showed with the love between each other or sharing even the most personal things.

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