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St. Lucy's Home For Girls Character Analysis

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In Karen Russell's short story, “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”, a pack of wolf-girls are sent to a church to transform them into human-girls. As they journey through their transformation there is a guide called, The Jesuit Handbook on Lycanthropic Culture Shock that helps the nuns running St. Lucy’s. The book describes the transformation in stages to help determine the girls’ place as a human. Claudette, the narrator, arrives at St. Lucy’s with her pack to begin their transformation. She struggles through most of the stages, but succeeds in only a couple of them. In Stage One the wolf pack first arrives at St. Lucy’s. Stage One tells the reader that the environment for the wolf-girls will be intriguing and exciting. They will…show more content…
In this stage she is expected to feel comfortable in the human culture, and everything in the human culture will start to make sense (Russell 240). Claudette does not match the expectation in this stage due to the Sausalito dance. When she got to the dance, she met Kyle, her brother. Their conversations were very awkward, she, “narrowed my eyes at Kyle and flattened [her] ears, something [she] hadn’t done for months” (Russell 242 and 243) because she had changed into a human. She naturally resorted to her wolf like instincts to flatten her ears when she was in this awkward conversation with Kyle, meaning she has not met the expectation of the stage. She is not comfortable in the human culture if she resorts to her natural tendencies. While she is preparing to dance, she, “rubbed a pumpkin muffin all over [her] body earlier that morning,” (Russell 242) to mask her scent. This action not only creates humor but also shows that Claudette is not ready to go back and forth from human culture and wolf culture. Normal humans would use perfume to mask a smell, Claudette chose to use a pumpkin muffin because she knew it would mask her odor. This is not a human action, therefore, she does not meet the expectation of Stage
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