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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@coredcs.com>
Subject: (urth) The Man in the Pepper Mill
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2000 15:18:58 

My spin on "The Man in the Pepper Mill" is, of course, unorthodox.

I believe it's more about the war between the sexes than anything

Consider both the pepper mill and the light house: each overtly phallic
symbols and therefore totems of masculinity. Tippy--a boy named after a
_female_ writer, for cryingoutloud, and with no pater--needs a dad. Buster
Hill--whose leg wound recalls the Fisher King (and the extended metaphor of
sexual mutilation)--symbolically represents the man Tippy may grow into if
he doesn't find proper male guidance. (Mr. Hill is also very wary about
women--hence imagines himself a 'bust her,' or conquering sex hero.) In
fact, Tippy already envisions himself trapped in a doll house and the
plaything of girlz. (A Calvin fantasy, for sure. Where's Hobbes when he
needs him?) And the thing that struck me about the stegosaur was its
pinkness; given its well known spiked tail, perhaps a vagina dentata image.
When Mom screams at the end, however, it's not because she sees a giant
pink dinosaur; it's because the earthquake has shattered Cathy's
dollhouse--perhaps signaling some hope for Tippy.

Anybody care to speculate how Cathy died? Tippy has no memories of
lingering illness, so apparently it's sudden. And what about Mom's remark
about Grandma? Has she drowned?

Robert Borski


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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