Nicole’s questions

I was very conscious of the premium importance these three different pieces placed on narrative. In the Kynard, Flossie creates her own agency by spinning her own narrative for the Fox. In PAX, where the essential question is whether you can “stay wild” or get back into alignment once human values/falseness have corrupted you, Vola tries to “express” her way back into alignment, paying homage to the man she killed. Pax also values literacy as a “wilding” tool, showing how reading and other kinds of narrative bring humans together. The play Vola stages is a kind of reading—a kind of storytelling, that’s meant to be shared, and Vola isn’t on the road to true healing until she’s ready to share the puppets (and perhaps also the narrative?) with other people, because the “true self” is connected to others. I may have already mentioned this in class, but there’s a branch of composition theory that engages writing as a process of creating the kind of “two in one” experience Varo talks about. PAX seems to support this idea. 

The Buddhist concept of “two in one” applies also to the “single predominant role” that pets have taken in the family, as objects of and givers of care, as mentioned in the Melton. I was particularly struck by this line: “There seems to be a growing hunger for small, helpless creatures dependent on our largesse,” for what it suggests about pet-keeping as a way of fortifying our egos or (in the most charitable interpretation) as a loving-kindness meditation (there’s a Buddhist word for this, but I’m blanking on it just now).  

Questions: Could Vola have paid homage to the man she killed in other ways? Would those ways also use narrative as a tool? Is there a non-narrative specific way Vola could have paid homage to him and if so, how would it differ to the narrative-bound methods? The novel references narrative also through toys like the toy soldiers and the puppets, further associating signs and symbols and modes of communication with childhood. 

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