“The thing in the forest” by A. S. Byatt

December 15th, 2011 § 0 comments

“The thing in the forest” by A. S. Byatt is hard to pin point out what kind of story it is. For me it’s a psycological mystery. Or it could be a story of effect of shocking childhood memory.

I think it’s based on the World War in Britian. Parents sent their kids into the deep forest so they wouldn’t killed by bombing. Strangely they only sent kids away with just a name pinned on their coat.

It was hard break to read a certain part of novel when I found out that kids were all left alone eventhough they were watched by people in the old house.
Primose and Penny became a friend and they ventured out into the forest. They found something dead under the dead wood. They never told anybody but kept it for themselves for entire life.
The story jumped to their adulthood and they understood that shocking memory of childhood was always deep into their life.
They went back to the forest and walked back to the exact spot. However, they also started to doubt if the dead thing was true or false.

I read a couple of story dealing of childhood memory. In one story, two lovely kids took their dog to the beach. They found a raft and put a dog on the raft. They let it floated off. They thought she could swim back. After that incident, one would live in total denial but one would live in total ruin.

There is a lot of films dealing with effect of childhood trauma. The Empire of sun is one.

The thing in the forest took me while to absorb. It was confusing very much . While I was working, I kept think about the beautiful display of story.

??? ???? ? ???? (Eng. Trans. Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East?) is one Korean film that appeared in my mind. It’s obviously Buddhist film and it is beautiful film. I watched almost 15 years ago. I can’t remember all details. I read a summary. It involves three monks. One is elder. The other is adolescent. The last one is baby monk. The adolescent monk decides to leave the temple to the outside world. So old and young are left behind.
When the Elder monk passed away, this baby monk goes through the proper ritual to send dead soul away. One part is burning his body. This tiny monk is doing it all by himself.
Now I want to pick that film again and watch it.
I think the story of “The thing in the forest” and other similar stories tell me that childhood memory is to be sensitive and treat preciously.

?”Yes, we did,” said Penny. “We saw it.”
“Did you ever wonder,” asked Primrose, “if we really saw it?”
“Never for a moment,” said Penny. “That is, I don’t know what it was but I’ve always been quite sure we saw it.”
“Does it change — do you remember all of it?”

“It was a horrible thing, and yes, I remember all of it, there isn’t a bit of it I can manage to forget. Thought I forget all sort of things.” said Penny, in a thin voice, a vanshing voice.
“And have you ever told anyone of it, spoken of it?” asked Primorose more urgently, leaning forward.
“No,” said Penny. She had not. She said, “Who would believe it?”
“That’s what I thought,” said Primrose, “I didn’t speak. But it stuck in my mind like a tapeworm in your gut. I think it did me no good.”

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