A. S. BYATT. The Thing in the Forest. There were once cwo little girls who saw, or believed they saw, a thing in a forest. The two little girls were. The Thing in the Forest has ratings and 8 reviews. Cecily said: The opening sentence demonstrates this is about being believed – or not“There were o. Dive deep into A. S. Byatt’s Little Black Book of Stories with extended analysis Its most disturbing fictions, “The Thing in the Forest” and “A Stone Woman,” were .

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Turning their discussion to the loathly worm is important because it makes the fantastic creature seem more real, and it constitutes the next q in the healing process: After the evacuation, the girls return to their families, which the war has altered.

The Thing in the Forest by A.S. Byatt

Byatt uses the character of Alys to further blur the boundary between reality and fantasy. This illustrates the ruthlessness of war. This short story was collected in an anthology for college course use. Finally, Penny and Primrose catch sight of the source of the smell coming toward them through the woods, and they crouch behind a log so as to remain unseen. They run byagt each other while looking at an old book on display. Primrose hikes for a while, then sits on a tree trunk, thinking of thint mother, who used to make stuffed animals to give to her.

It does not strengthen their bond. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The forest setting is common throughout many fairy tales because it adds to the mysticism. The striking similarities in each of their lives serve a utilitarian purpose in this way. Penny and Primrose huddle together, shaking as they watch the thing slither away. The next day, all the children are sent to temporary homes for the rest of the evacuation.


A description next to the book tells of the Loathly Worma giant creature that, according to legend, had terrorized the countryside around the mansion. Primrose is curious, imaginative, and maintains an openness that Penny lacks.

This is the very reason the two girls are evacuees and encounter thd forest in the first place.

Penny is ready for whatever happens. Notify me of new posts via email. Girl evacuees in WW2. They can scarcely believe such a creature exists. Their unwillingness or inability to discuss the Thing, even with each other, deepens their feelings isolation and dread, as does their thhe departure from the country mansion. Thus, discussing Alys helps the women confirm their memories of the girl, which is one more step in overcoming their trauma because, even fodest it may seem like an insignificant detail, each woman feels less isolated by realizing they have this memory in common.

I liked this- but I’m not sure I understood it yet. War is central to the plot of the story. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class. Primrose appreciates the powers of the imagination in a way that enables her to move on with her life without answering the question of whether the Thing was real or imagined. Helena Berger rated it liked it Feb 06, She thinks about her own dead father. The timing of their initial encounter with the beast and the publishing of the collection may not be something ignore, either.

There thw no discussion topics on this book yet. I have no time to read this before class; and the summery of the plot and the significance behind it is keen and informing.


The Thing in the Forest

She thinks that when it arrives, she will look it in the face and see what it is. That was the only publishing before it was included in the compilation Little Black Book of Stories in The younger girl, Alys, is described in various ways that amount to cute, precocious and personable. Download this Chart PDF. Instead, on the following day, they set out separately for the forest surrounding the mansion.

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was originally published in the collection Little Black Book of Stories.

All she ever needed to heal was inside herself, and she finally tqps into this wellspring of strength and self-reliance.

You are commenting using your WordPress. Philip rated it it was ok May 20, To ask other readers questions about The Thing in the Forestplease sign up. Finding the spot where she and Primrose had encountered the worm 40 years earlier, Penny waits and silently calls the Thing.

But when they arrive they find the other children still on the lawn, continuing to play, oblivious to what the girls have just experienced. Feeling alone and scared, Penny and Primrose latch on to each other.

The children are described as a ragtag bunch, with scuffed shoes and scraped knees, and carrying toys and dolls as items of comfort, most likely to forestall the terror they must feel.