The Girl Who Drak The Moon Analysis

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Emotional Trauma and Suppression in The Girl Who Drank the Moon
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill, is about villagers who are convinced that there is an evil witch who will kill them all if they do not abandon their youngest infant in the woods every year. The reader knows from the start of the book that the villagers are greatly deceived. “The Witch—that is, the belief in her—made for a frightened people, a subdued people, a compliant people [emphasis added]” (ch. 2). In reality, there is a witch in the woods, Xan, but she could hardly be called evil. She rescues and finds a family for each infant, who, for reasons unbeknownst to her, she finds abandoned in the woods every year. This lie and the subsequent child abandonment
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She separates countless parents and children, and child abandonment is therefore a major theme in this story. It’s a consequence of the story’s primary conflicts, Ignatia versus her grief and the villagers versus their fear of the non-existent witch. Traditionally, stories involving childhood abandonment use it mainly as a plot device (Gross, 106), but Barnhill’ story is different. According to the literary analysis article, “The Giver and Shade's Children, Future Views of Child Abandonment and Murder,” by Distinguished Scholar Award winner, Melissa Gross, both of these books are also exceptions. They too use child murder and abandonment as important parts of the plot. In The Giver, child murder is a symbol of a society so obsessed with “sameness” that they will do anything to preserve it. In Shade’s Children, the fight against child murder is the primary conflict (108). Barnhill’s book, like The Giver and Shade’s Children, is different from other books about child abandonment and murder because the abandonment and presumed death is not just a plot device, but an important part of the story. What makes it stand out even from these two is that it weaves together the theme of child abandonment with the seemingly unrelated themes of trauma and emotional
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