Friday, May 1, 2015

Bisclavret and the Wolves of Mercy Falls

The Wolves of Mercy Falls is a trilogy written by Maggie Stiefvater. There is an obvious boundary between humans and wolves within the general community and within the characters themselves. After the pack of werewolves, who lived in the forest bordering the town Mercy Falls, attacks (and supposedly kills) a teenager, the community calls for their extermination. The general populace fear the wolves and paint them in a negative light, showing little to no sympathy for the animals. The two main characters are there to provide an alternative opinion to this stereotypical perception of wolves. Sam is stuck in between, belonging in neither world. He is a werewolf who clings to humanity, unlike most of his pack. The other werewolves welcome the forgetting that comes with their lupine skin. 

With Bisclavret, the line drawn between human and wolf is not as clear. He is portrayed as an intelligent being without any regard of his form. He is capable of recognizing the king and behaving in a civil, proper manner. He is in control of himself regardless of whether he is human or animal. Even with his transformations he is allowed some control by being able to change back by putting his clothes on. On the other hand, the wolves of Mercy Falls have less control over their minds. As wolves, they struggle to remember their times as a human. Even while they are human, their memories as wolves can be unclear. Also, they can’t shift between forms at will. Temperature affects their transformations. They become humans only when it is warm, and the cold forces them back into wolves. The longer they remain a wolf, the warmer it has to be for them to be able to change back into humans. Eventually, they will permanently remain as wolves. The loss of humanity is more greatly highlighted in Stiefvater's trilogy than in Bisclavret.

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