The Owls Are Not What They Seem — страница 4

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viewed as a battle of good and evil- men representing the good, and women representing the evil, especially when regarding the conflicts between the Black Lodge and the White Lodge. Agent Cooper, Sheriff Truman, and The Bookhouse Boys, all are the masculine fighting the evil, which is feminine. The evil that the Bookhouse Boys and their fathers have fought for generations is woman herself. The owl, emblem of what lies hidden in the woods, is the bird of Athena, the female goddess of wisdom The war waged against the timeless evil lurking in the Northwest woods is entrusted to masculine fraternities: The Bookhouse Boys, the Sheriff and his deputies, and in Major Brigg s case, the army (Desmet 103). The message that Major Briggs delivers to Cooper, the owls are not what they seem,

can be seen as a warning from the male patriarchy to resist female power- basically telling Cooper that he must not submit to female dominance, or he will be defeated. This message comes strongly into play at the end of the series during Cooper s judgment in the Black Lodge. One main flaw in Cooper s judgment is his lack of understanding that he does not need to protect women, which eventually leads to his fall. Stoically offering his soul in return for Annie s safety, Cooper engages Windom Earle in a masculine psychomania, so that he is finally undone by his chivalrous code of honor and by the patriarchy s drive to destroy, rather than accommodate the feminine (Desmet 106). Rather than attempting to save himself as well as Annie, Cooper would rather become the martyr, than the

actual protector. He offers his soul because he feels it is his duty as a man, rather than because he loves Annie. This may be the only redemption of the female portrayal in Twin Peaks- where part of Cooper s failure is based on the fact that he refuses the accommodation of women- however his failure is still due to a woman, as he would never have be put in that situation if Annie had not allowed herself to be captured by Windom Earle. The message of this aspect of the series is that although Cooper failed in the correct role towards women, it is still a woman s weakness that helped destroyed him. When Cooper faces the final judgment in the Black Lodge, he symbolically falls victim to the dominance of women. In the Black Lodge, there are several statues of women as well as images

of the women in his life, all representative of what is happening in Cooper s judgment. The Lodge is also decorated in red drapes, which can symbolize the uterine lining of the maternal womb. In reference to the Venus de Milo, Cooper s trial takes place under the aegis of mutilated women, whose castration validates the Freudian myth of sexuality. When he discovers the wound in his side, the Venus de Milo disappears, suggesting that Cooper himself has now become a martyred castrated female saint (Desmet 106). By symbolically becoming female, Cooper ultimately is overcome by the evil of BOB and the Black Lodge, and therefore fails in his judgment. What this tells the audience is that Cooper s failure is due to the fact that he is now seen as a woman- and as already explained in

Twin Peaks- it is impossible for a woman to obtain the mental or physical capacity to succeed. The male audience, who all like and respect Cooper s character, has now become even more contempful of women, who help cause Cooper s failure. Cooper s final judgment and his dreams are closely related- especially regarding The Man From Another Place. The MFAP symbolically represents the penis and woman s sexual mutilation. The small, wiggling, dancing, rosy figure has clear phallic associations. To make the association clearer, the little man of Cooper s dreams frequently undulates in front of a Greek marble female nude, such that he is often framed with the statue s crotch behind his head (Nichimson 152). In another way, the MFAP can be seen as a castrated penis himself. As the

audience finds out in the Twin Peaks movie, Fire Walk With Me, that the MFAP confesses that he is The Arm, meaning the arm that MIKE, BOB s partner at the beginning of BOB s killing spree, had cut off, or castrated, from himself- which in turn separated MIKE from BOB when MIKE realized that the killing of women was wrong. The audience is supposed to view the castrated MIKE as a helpful heroic character, while the MFAP is seen as the judge of Cooper, and in turn, the judge of Cooper s manhood. This feeds the audience that the male judges of society (in this case, the MFAP) would not accept Cooper, as he has become the castrated female martyr, and is there condemned to fail, and in turn become possessed by BOB (the last shot in the series is Cooper staring into a mirror with BOB s