The White Seal Maid

The White Seal Maid by Jane Yolen was definitely a rendition of the prior Russalka that we read last week. However, although I had much to say about Russalka and what different representations that story held; to me, this version was a lot harder to decipher. I believed it was so much more basic and read straight forward than the other one and I found myself possibly trying to make connections that were not there in the first place. 

Of course this version is different in the sense that this time the man is falling for the female selkie; but this time the man was gentle and grateful and not at all deceitful towards the woman. He left her seal coat in plain view every single day to show his love towards the selkie and she stayed with him for over 21 years seemingly to feel the mutual love back. 

When she finally did leave him it left me quite puzzled. Did she stay with him in the first place just to have babies in order for her kind to keep succeeding in life? Or was there some other hidden meaning that I could not find in the text? Could this possibly be hard for me to figure out because it is about a man and I am a woman?

Overall, I feel like Russalka was written a lot better and had a clearer meaning begin with; but that is not to say that I completely hated this story. I just thought the author should have shared more depth with the audience. 

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One Response to The White Seal Maid

  1. cks14 says:

    I agree with you, had we not read and discussed Russalka my interpretation of this story would probably have been different. I think that the reason she left was because she never really loved him but she needed someone to have offspring with. And unlike humans who fall in love and have children, the Selkie does it by drawing them in and getting what she came for and then leaves with the children when they are old enough. I also agree that this story has a more simple aspect to it.

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