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We Have Always Lived In The Castle
Transcript of We Have Always Lived In The Castle
We Have Always Lived In The Castle
By: Mariah Trujillo
In "We Have Always Lived In The Castle" Constance Blackwood, who is a practitioner of sympathetic magic, lives with her younger sister Mary Katherine, commonly known as Merricat, and their Uncle Julian, who lives confined in a wheelchair. they all live in the heart of the Blackwood Estate, which is the "Castle". The antagonist is the village that neighbors the castle. They're very familiar with te Blackwoods, and are very afraid with blind hatred and ignorance. the cause of this is because of the mass murder of the Blackwood parents, Uncle Julian's wife, and Uncle Julian's younger brother, who is only mentioned once in the novel. all the victims were thought to be killed by Constance Blackwood, by putting arsenic in the sugar that the victims ate that evening. However, Constance was let go from the case, leading the villagers to think she had gotten away with murder. but the small family lived in the castle, isolated from the rest of the town. The protagonist, Merricat, would visit the village to buy groceries and other necessities. She would mind her own business and so would most of the villagers. It was their life routine. Until one day, when Constance and Merricat,s cousin Charles shows up to "help out". But as time goes on he proves himself to be an antagonist to the family, making him and the villagers the cause of the main conflict. Charles ends up changing the small family's life. Constance does not mind, but Merricat and old Uncle Julian do, and the two begin to lose patience with Charles.
The story starts off pretty slow, introducing the story before the setting. Most of the beginning is about the Blackwood family's daily routine. Except when the author showed a bit of rising action when Merricat visited the village. The reader didn't know what would happen to her, especially when the reader found out about the hatred the Blackwoods and villagers shared. Some villagers would provoke Merricat until she ran off, and she had a very extreme attitude towards them. It was so extreme that she wanted them to suffer and die. All throughout the novel she stated how much she wanted them gone. Another example of rising action is when Uncle Julian said that he knows for a fact that Constance was the one who killed the Blackwood family. The third example of rising action was when cousin Charles arrived at the Blackwood house. Before this point in the story not much changed. The inciting incident in the story is when Merricat was absolutely tired of Charles, so she went into his room and got rid of everything that he touched, to completely erase him from ever being in the house, because Merricat believed Charles was a demon and a ghost. When she was cleaning the room, she pushed his smoldering pipe in a basket of newspapers, leading onto the climax of the story.
The climax in the story was when Charles' smoldering pipe set the upstairs part of the house on fire. Charles was in the kitchen with Merricat, Constance, and Uncle Julian when he smelt smoke. So when Charles went to go see what it was he noticed the fire and started to yell "get out the house! There's a fire!" and ran outside. Merricat and Constance waited outside behind some over grown vines, waiting for Uncle Julian to grab some important papers. The top half of the castle was falling apart, and Uncle Julian hadn't come out yet. The villagers quickly gathered in front of the castle. The firemen were determined to stop the fire. One villagers started yelling "Why not let it burn?" and once the fire was out, the villagers started throwing rocks at the windows, surging into the house, and destroying whatever they could find. When Merricat and Constance tried to run away, the villagers surrounded them. Then finally the Chef told them to go home and leave the Blackwoods alone because dear old Uncle Julian had die from a heart attack. At this point Merricat and Constance had fled into the forest.
The next day, Constance and Merricat went to go see what was left of their house. The entire top half of the house was destroyed and chair, tables, windows were broken downstairs. The villagers started to feel guilty for destroying their house so they started to leave food at the front doorstep. The night of the fire, when Merricat and Constance were in the woods, they were talking and both admitted that Merricat was the one who poisoned the sugar with arsenic.
Before the story was finished Charles had come back, asking for a second chance, but all he got was silence from Merricat and Constance. So he left their door and left their lives forever. Then Constance and Merricat began to live their lives in peace once more.
Death is a major theme throughout "We Have Always Lived In The Castle". From the beginning of the story, most of the characters seem to be obsessed with the Blackwood murders. Although they hint at the deaths, most of the characters shy away from talking about it directly. Mary Katherine pictures people dead when she is upset with them. On page ix it states "...Merricat Blackwood, a willful demon prankster attuned to nature, to the rhythm of seasons, and to death,and the ear culprit in the unsolved crime of having poisoned all the remaining members of the Blackwood family (apart from Uncle Julian)." To her, death is an answer to her problems.
Mary Katherine Blackwood, also known as Merricat, is an unreliable narrator. In the beginning of the story Merricat makes you believe that the villagers are cruel, cold-hearted people. But as the story goes on you start to question whether or not she is telling the truth. Using an unreliable narrator in a mystery like this, really gets the reader involved in the information that is presented.