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what would have happened if ardwin had never been cursed?

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message 1: by Kenric (last edited Mar 08, 2008 04:23PM) (new)

Kenric F what do YOU think would have happened if ardwin had never been cursed?

message 2: by Kenric (new)

Kenric F i think that he would have never meet horse, alene, or stephen and would have gown up to be a spoiled kid who had his childhood stolen from him

Maysie i dont think he would hav met his love and the two kingdoms would still be fighting which could be hazardous

Lena He never would have lived the life and adventure that he did.

message 5: by Kate (new)

Kate While the wing is obviously symbolic of the thing in each of us that sets us apart and often makes us feel like freaks within our own families, schools, social environments or the larger world, Ardwin's wing/"curse" is also something he cherishes because unconsciously he is smart enough to appreciate his uniqueness. Because the wing is so obvious, as opposed to the things that the rest of us, or other "unmarked" characters get to hide, yet still wrestle with, Ardwin is luckier than most. He is forced out by circumstances, "untamed" or undeveloped as it is.

Though it seems to him that he is an agent of his own actions, choosing to leave home, refusing to let anyone mutilate him - even though he has had fantasies of doing so to himself - Ardwin learns, as do we all, that our choices and our actions do not happen in a vacuum. We are who we are because of our history, our position within our own families, our old resentments and the versions of reality which we each have crafted for ourselves. In other words, we are stuck in our own atories. That is the real curse. And the solution is, as the maimed old walrus tells Ardwin, to keep our eyes open and to learn the truth. I think the author did a good job of showing us Ardwin's vacillating perspectives on his wing. I am a teacher of literature and a pretty astute reader, but even so, he kept me guessing as to what Ardwin would choose to do about his EXTERNAL "curse."

Since this is a story about an entire family and their much larger problem of moving forward after some mistakes and crises, with Ardwin, the youngest and seemingly most sensitive, bearing the mark that will never let them forget what happened (thus each bearing and dealing with guilt in his or her own way), the actual resolution for me came when he absolved his sister Rose. That was the moment when Ardwin was no longer cursed. Just as each of our own family crises do not need evil witches, wild swans, or nasty nettles to leave scars, that same story of self-acceptance is told over and over in both YA and adult literature without the fairy tale trappings of wings, prescient dreams, talking horses, or convenient encounters with mysterious goose girls. All of that just made this book the wonderful little journey that it was: a true fairy tale spun out in the best fashion of a master yarnspinner.

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