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"I learned long ago that being Lewis Carrol was infinitely more exciting than being Alice."--Joyce Carol Oates

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Survivor

“…He just buried the baby, put me in the wagon and we went seventy miles to Galveston without stoppin’. He never said a word. Put me on the first ship he found…it was headed to Australia. And he said, “Don’t want no woman that would kill my son to save herself.” And he turned and he walked away and never looked back. I know, because I watched to see if he would.”--Crazy Cora from Quigley Down Under

Crazy Cora is considered crazy because she lives in the past. Calling men by her husband’s name, Roy, and reliving her life with him rather than living in the present. As punishment for attacking a man in town, Cora is stranded in the Australian Outback with sharp shooter, Matthew Quigley. After spending several days together, Cora and Quigley are temporarily rescued by a band of aborigines. That evening, Cora, while staring into the fire, reveals to Quigley what she did and Roy’s reaction, ultimately showing Quigley her fatal flaw and the reason she hides herself in past experiences.

I love Quigley Down Under. I’ve probably watched it five times. And I’ve never completely understood Cora. Each time it gets a little better, a tad bit clearer. Cora is a survivor, my favorite type of heroine. I’ve heard people talk about (myself included) how much they love a tortured hero, but I have to say, tortured heroines (while few and far between) are my favorite. Cora represents what I would consider The Survivor of the female archetypes. After having experienced the trauma of killing her child and being abandoned by her husband, she survives by wearing the mask of insanity, reliving the days of her life with Roy until finally facing her fears in the Australian Outback.

The Survivor is an interesting heroine (in the context of surviving a past trauma) because of what she must overcome to be with the hero and what he must accept in order to be with her. The survivor usually feels responsible for the past and therefore sees herself as inferior for it. She blames herself for a poor childhood, failed relationships and any lack of education or experience. And being tortured for past sins keeps her from finding happiness in the present. I enjoy stories with Survivor heroines, although they can run the risk of being TSTL, they are entertaining.

Survivor heroines use many masks to cover the truth. Insanity, a bad reputation, cattiness, intelligence and my least favorite, silence. But what I like about the survivor heroine is that they are strong on their own, without the hero. The fact that they have lived and kept themselves in one piece is a testament of their strength. However, it is the survivor heroine that makes us love the hero. The hero who can accept the heroine regardless of her past. The hero who helps her to face her fears. The hero who saves her from her own self destruct button. Our true knight in shining armor of unconditional love. The survivor tells the most beautiful story.


PS: Sorry Trollop, but Tom Selleck knows how to work a mustache!

2 touched me

Blogger Valeen pondered...

I've never seen this movie but it sounds good! Will have to rent it.

And I have to disagree ... there isn't anyone who can do a mustache. Yuck. Yuck. Bleck.

7/24/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Dylan pondered...

Hmm, I'm going to add this to my must rent dvd's...thanks for the pimp sweetie.

I'm not a fan of the mustache but I can work with one...lol.

7/24/2006 02:47:00 PM  

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