By: SHELBY RAGAN
In the introduction to They Suck, They Bite, They Eat, They Kill: The Psychological Meaning of Supernatural Monsters in Young Adult Fiction, Joni Richards Bodart asserts that “monsters can also teach us about how to build our own concept of morality, based on how we relate to the monsters in the story—are we the ‘good guy’ or the ‘bad guy,’ acting with or without honor?” (xxiv). It is this moral development that is demonstrated by Theseus Cassio Lowood, the protagonist of Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood series. While Cas, as he prefers to be called, begins the series as a ghost hunter intent on eliminating any threatening spirits, his moral development over the course of the two books demonstrates that the choice of who “lives” and “dies,” even among spirits, is a complicated moral issue. This paper examines Cas and his growing relationship with Anna, the murderous spirit he intended to kill, from a feminist care ethics perspective. I argue that evaluating Cas and his changing sense of morality from the perspective of feminist care ethics, with its focus on individual situations and relational identity as the heart of ethics, illustrates the growth that problematizes Cas’s previously established moral perspective on ghosts as monsters unequivocally in need of destroying. As Cas’s relationship with Anna grows and develops, he finds himself in the position of carer whose moral obligation is to care for Anna’s needs. Cas’s moral journey then becomes to discover the history behind Anna’s murder and determine whether or not she is a threat to the safety of others for whom he is a carer and whether or not he is then still morally compelled to kill her. The development of Cas’s morality, as the way he relates to “monsters” changes throughout the series, exemplifies how feminist care ethics problematizes binaries of right and wrong in issues that are seen by others are purely black and white.
To read the full article kindly write to: firstname.lastname@example.org