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Summary Of St Lucy's Home For Girls

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In the short story “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” author Karen Russell develops the narrator, Claudette, through the use of five “stages” to show her progression from her wolf identity to the human culture. This short story follows a group of girls raised by wolf parents through their journey at St. Lucy’s, which is a rehabilitation center for human children raised by wolf parents. Throughout their time at St. Lucy’s, the girls are expected to experience five distinct stages as they adapt. Each of these stages is described by a fictional text entitled The Jesuit Handbook on Lycanthropic Culture Shock. The nuns at St. Lucy’s use it as a guide for teaching their students. Short excerpts from this text that…show more content…
This work may be stressful, and students may experience a strong sense of dislocation. They may miss certain foods. They may spend a lot of time daydreaming during this period. Many students feel isolated, irritated, bewildered, depressed, or generally uncomfortable” (page 229). The Jesuit Handbook on Lycanthropic Culture Shock states that once the wolf girls experience these negative sentiments, they have entered stage two. During stage two, Russell’s development of Claudette directly corresponds with the epigraph. Claudette found that she was always “irritated, bewildered, depressed… uncomfortable and between stages”(page 229). This lines up perfectly with the Handbook, which describes feelings of discomfort and dislocation among the pack. Claudette had even “begun to snarl at [her] own reflection as if it were a stranger,” showing that she is very uncomfortable with the changes that have happened to her, both physically and mentally. In Stage 2, when the girls had begun to drift apart, Claudette found where she fit in, explaining that she “was one of the good girls. Not great and not terrible, solidly middle of the pack” (Russell 232). This idea of Claudette being a good but imperfect character connects to her relation to the Handbook, as she mostly follows along with its expectations but occasionally lags
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