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Werewolf's Daughter

Synopsis:
The werewolf’s daughter is a folklore tale about a father who was a werewolf and had 9 daughters. Having provided for his 9 daughters his whole life he questioned his motives and came to the conclusion that it was time to do something about it. He decided to get rid of them to stop supporting them. He maneuvered a plan to kill them one by one. First he went into the forest and asked for the eldest daughter to deliver him food. The eldest daughter delivered him food and as the werewolf ate he led his daughter into a pit. Then he crushed her head inside the pit with a stone. The father decided to go back to work to allow the other daughters to bring him food to kill them. The father ended up killing all his daughter up to the youngest and most beautiful one. The youngest daughter wondered about the whereabouts of the other daughters so she prepared the food that she was supposed to take to his father and went to look for him at his work. She noticed a fire and 2 human heads roasting. She asked her father about the whereabouts of her sisters and he told her that he was to bring her to them. He attempted to make her fall inside the pit, but she persuaded him that she would take her clothes off first to get slayed. He agreed, but she pushed him inside the pit and ended up fleeing. He chased her into a hayfield and with exhaustion filling his body he retreated. The daughter was found by a king  who decided to marry her. The king prohibited any beggar from entering the palace. However, one day the werewolf gets in and kills his daughter’s children and hides the knife below her pillow. The king suspecting the murderer was her wife drives her away from the palace. A hermit brings the children back to life and the King realizes that the werewolf was the murderer and throws him off the cliff into the sea. They all live happily ever after.

Themes and the Werewolf Archetype Edit

The “Werewolf’s Daughter” reveals themes about responsibilities and anxieties of growing up. The woodcutter, who is also a werewolf, in the tale has nine daughters and plots to kill them all when he decides he no longer wants to support them. Nevertheless, the girls are obedient and do as they are told by their father. Respect to parents and responsibility were an important aspect of society in the time this story was written. The girls bring their father dinner each night when he is out working and he takes them to a pit and kills them. They trust him and their trust ends in death. This relates to the theme traumas of growing up because children are expected to obey and trust their elders, but are often taken advantage of by them. The “Werewolf’s Daughter” also expresses the theme of defiance, as illustrated by the youngest daughter. She uses cleverness and quick thinking to escape death, and eventually ends as the victor of the tale.   Werewolf stories often express the theme of a young girl being exploited by the wolf, as seen in famous tales such “Little Red Riding Hood”[1] as well as “The Werewolf’s Daughter.” The werewolf can be representative of an older man with bad intentions, and in the case of “The Werewolf’s Daughter,” the father who has the intention of killing his daughters. This theme relates beck to the idea that young women and girls should be weary of those surrounding because others, especially older men.[2]

The werewolf character is often represented as a charming and inviting individual, who has secret intentions which aim to harm and manipulate others.[3] The werewolf comes off as a very trustworthy individual, as seen in the “Werewolf’s Daughter,” but seems to hold a lot of anger and selfishness. The identity of a werewolf can be interpreted as an outlet for his aggression, and the regression to a more primal state. The father in the “Werewolf’s Daughter” fits into this character description based on his behaviors throughout the story.

Course material:

"The Werewolf's Daughter." Werewolf's Daughter. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.

References Edit

"The Science of Lycanthropy." The Science of Lycanthropy: Werewolf Mythology. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

"The Werewolf's Daughter." Werewolf's Daughter. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.


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