Okay, pop quiz, think of a deformed character in literature; most usually they are misunderstood and pitiful to read about–oh, their hurt makes you want to go up and hug them…from a distance, of course.
Your answers–ah, Quasimodo; exactly who Foster mentions in the opening lines of his chapter Marked For Greatness. Among such others as Oedipus and Richard III–wait, is that true? It says here Harry Potter is a deformed character. But, deformed characters are deformed because it speaks covertly about their personalities; let’s see…he has a scar given him by a dark wizard, and he is the Chosen One.
Let me steer this in a different direction now.
Ah, blind people, finally a topic that makes sense to this post. When I think of blind people I recall the blind judge in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but surely he is only blind because of his character; unless his character is a symbol for justice, specifically Lady Justice, and as Quasimodo is not the most attractive of humans, is blind to illustrate the perceptions of beauty and ugliness.
This and more described in the chapter He’s Blind For A Reason, You Know.
All right, I’m ready to tackle scars again…and other wounds.
Speaking of wounds, how about Frankenstein’s Monster? He is one big corpse, all stitched together with the limbs and skin patches of the deceased…ew, creepy. Although, contrary to the Universal movies, the Monster is capable of speech and thought and profound emotion; if so, then, isn’t his stitched body symbolic of the world into which he has been zapped to life? A monster, or man, of, quite literally, the people?
Oops, I did it again.
Blindness–yes, of course, the horrid disorder which restricts sight; but can it also release a deeper vision within a character; for example, Neo, protagonist of The Matrix trilogy? Even though he is only blind for the last scenes of the third movie it is because he needs to see further, specifically further into the machine world to overcome it.
Now, for my last attempt: the wooden peg leg of Captain Ahab. It is a serious injury, and constantly he is blaming that darn white whale for the loss of his leg, more so for the loss of his sense of reality. Ahab is already a Biblical reference–he is a madman in the Bible, as well; and losing a piece of connection to his ever floating world reveals him as a complete lunatic unbounded by the restrictions of society.
There, a near perfect explanation–that didn’t take too long, did it?