[matricide in leishman's red riding hood]
I'm tidying up my final thesis chapter (omg!); making things a bit clearer, rephrasing, adding some quotations, and deleting what is repetitive or unneccessary. I'm finding this last bit (deleting) the most difficult as there seem to be so many things I want to say about the works I'm researching. While going over Donna Leishman's Red Riding Hood in terms of the multiple worlds that are available to the reader I've been stuck on the penultimate scene (of the linear reading). Red is in bed at her grandmother's house, with what looks to be a bag of knitting paraphernalia at her feet. As she sleeps the suspicious boy-wolf draws back a curtain and enters. He reaches over, seemingly to brush the hair off Red's face but then, suddenly and wholely unexpectedly (at least on my part) he reveals a gun which he holds to Red's head. Ok. So maybe this is *straight-forward* murder, boy kills girl. But, before the wolf entered the room the reader also had a chance to *violate* Red, though not as violently. The reader can touch Red's distended stomach to reveal a pregnancy; Red is carrying a girl. This is really a double murder, a murder of mother and daughter. But how might we interpret this? If Showalter demands the killing of "the Angel in the house, that phantom of female perfection who stands in the way of freedom" and who turns out to be Woolf herself [Showalter 265], then does the killing of Red signify the death of a blockade to Red's freedom? Is it with death that Red can escape that double-bind: the inadequacy of representation and the concomittant desire to represent her becoming subjectivity? Kristeva argues that we are always negotiating the other within as subjects in process, so here is this an overt inability to negotiate (or at least a challenge) the pivot between self and other? Also, if Red is unaware of either the wolf or of the reader touching her stomach, does this suggest a Cartesian split between mind and body, the two for Red here are seemingly disconnected? Or is this simply the death of the woman as "body"? (I'm thinking here of Robyn Longhurst who writes about pregnant woman as "containers"). Then in death that bind and that split dissolve? But, because it is the wolf who facilitates this, does that intimate that a man is necessary to bring a woman *together*, to resolve her identities? And what about choice...and, the most important question: does Red really die?