Claudette tried her best to adapt to the humans culture and all the feral children had spent months learning to assimilate into human culture. However, despite her perseverance through all these challenges, some of the wolf in them still remained. This would later cause Claudette to stand out in both societies due to the wolf characteristics that still remained (thus not fitting in with the human societies) and the human characteristics that she learned (thus not fitting in the the werewolf societies). Feral diction also appeared in the story when Claudette attempted to dance to sausalito with Kyle. When she stepped onto the dance floor, the panicked and the feral part of her returned; Russell writes, “I threw back my head, a howl clawing its way up my throat” (250).
Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” believes that the students will find it difficult to adapt, they may feel drawn back to their own culture, and want to revert back to their old traditions (229). The pack might feel out of place, that they don’t belong, exasperated, baffled, lonely, and intolerable (229). When the characters have gotten over the new and exciting environment, it is difficult for them and they will feel trapped. This is a very tense, stressful, pitiful phase as the pack struggle to change their old habits and ways of life. Claudette starts to change overtime and goes through a hard time during this stage.
Karen Russell's “St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves” is a story of lycanthropic girls who have been raised by their wolf parents who are being assimilated into human culture by forceful nuns. Claudette is the main character who is also telling the story. She faces many achievements and struggles, but by the end of the story Claudette has clearly conformed to human culture. This is supported when Claudette shows her loss of wolf-like traits, such as when she loses compassion for her pack members, and in the later stages when she starts to have complex human thoughts and starts to lose detectable traces of her wolf origins.
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.
In “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” the nuns use a shockingly casual tone when speaking to the girls, as if they understand the sacrifices the girls are going to have to make. For example, when the girls first arrive at St. Lucy’s and are running rabid around the courtyard the sister asks, “And what is your name?”(239). The nun asks this question as if she is speaking to a girl who knows how to respond despite the fact she knows the girls can not speak. In “The Ruined Maid” the author uses word choice to set the tone.
In the short story Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell, nuns at St. Lucy's Home For Girls Raised by Wolves try to turn a pack of young girls, including Claudette the narrator, whose parents are werewolves, into proper humans who can fit into society. Claudette struggles with balancing her wolf upbringing with the teachings of the nuns, and ends up conforming to the standards and morals of humankind. Her change from being a pack member to a human individual is seen in many places throughout the text. Although it is certain that Claudette grows to be human by STAGE 5, she has to struggle through the difficult and disorienting processes that are required in order to become human. There are several challenges that Claudette surpasses in order to abandon
Analyze Claudette’s development in relation to the five stages of Lycanthropic Culture Shock. In ”St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”, Russell Wolves”, Russell writes a short story regarding a group of girls, whose parents are werewolves. Their parents sent them to St. Lucy’s Home for Girls to be reformed into civilized humans and become functional members of society. The main character, Claudette, is developed by comparing her behavior in each stage The Jesuit Handbook on Lycanthropic Culture Shock.
This theme is subtly shown throughout the story, but becomes more apparent after the main event, the slaughter. After Date Bed is presumed missing, Mud, despite the fact that she is not of She-S blood, shows concern for her friend and adopted family member throughout the story – “It is just as well that Mud’s thoughts can’t be heard because what she is thinking is, “I’m the one who loves her. None of you loves her as I do,” and the uselessness of her love arouses her to such a pitch of anguish that she thinks of returning to the plain and searching for Date Bed on her own” (Gowdy, 105). The other She-S’s feel the same way as well – She-Snorts states, “I would not go to The Safe Place…knowing that Date Bed might still be alive and lost” (Gowdy, 249). If the She-S’s didn’t care for their family as much, they would have abandoned all thought of Date Bed and wouldn’t bother searching for her.
In Karen Russell’s short story, “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”, she develops the progression of the characters in relation to The Jesuit Handbook on Lycanthropic Culture Shock. The characters, young girls raised as if they were wolves, are compared to the handbook with optimism that they will adapt to the host culture. The girls’ progression in the five set stages are critical to their development at St. Lucy’s. The author compares Claudette, the narrator, to the clear expectations the handbook sets for the girls’ development.
In the short story, “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” written by Karen Russell, a pack of wolf girls leave their home in the woods for St. Lucy’s in order to be able to live in human society. Within the story, Russell has included epigraphs before each stage from The Jesuit Handbook for Lycanthropic Culture Shock. This handbook was for the nuns at St. Lucy’s to help guide their students. Karen Russell included the epigraphs, short quotations at the beginning of a chapter intended to suggest a theme, from the handbook to help the reader understand what the characters might be feeling or how they will act in a certain stage.