Saturday, December 10, 2005

Anger- Hot and Cold

In reading Gregory MaGuire's Wicked in the bathtub this evening, I came across a passage that I found interesting. Of course the entire book is interesting, enchanting, and allows your imagination and perception of things to stretch immensely. But the passage was about hot and cold anger. It mentioned the differences between hot and cold anger, and how as children and teenagers, boys and girls alike both experience hot and cold anger. But as time goes on, women experience cold anger while men experience hot anger.

Cross a man and you struggle, one of you wins, you adjust and go on- or
you lie there dead. Cross a woman and the universe is changed, once again,
for cold anger requires an eternal vigilance in all matters of slight and offense.

(Elphalba) had always felt as capable of hot anger as any man. But to be successful, one would need access to both sorts.

Interesting. The phrase eternal vigilance is perfect. It makes me think of instances where I have felt hot anger. Mostly in teenage years, or when extremely upset in childhood. Not so much in adulthood. I have graduated to be the calculating type. I hold a teriffic grudge.

My capacity to remember details is amazing in itself, but if you cross me I will remember you and every detail of the instance. And I will sit and calculate and turn it over and over in my mind and different scenarios will come through my mind. Scenarios in which revenge plays a part. Scenarios when someday you come crawling back to me and I remind you of what you did to me. Or I watch you suffer and beg because It makes me feel better.

But Evan is always telling me that I shouldn't hold a grudge. That I need to get over things. Is that true? Is that wise? Or is it just his "hot anger" speaking. Women deal with things differently. Instead of fighting someone physically they will fight someone mentally. They will be cold and merciless and calculating. They will sit back and wait for their moment of opportunity. Not always to the point of watching someone suffer ultimately, but enough to get someone to squirm, to twitch, to feel badly, to feel remorseful for what they did in the past, and then they will (usually) back down.

No wonder men have this shock at how "witchlike" women can be. I have to believe that this is where women get their main source of power, and that it is the origin of sayings such as "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." and one of my favorites- "revenge is best served cold." (meaning the longer you wait for revenge, the more powerful and satisfying it becomes.)

So in my mind, the basis of the wicked witch of the west (a.k.a. Elphalba, Elphie, Fabala, Fae, Auntie West, and Auntie Witch) is being capable of both hot and cold anger. And not being afraid of being alone and isolated because of it. I personally like to call her Fae, because that was the name given to her by her lover Fiyero.

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ginger said...

Meagan... send me an email. Your site is black from the main header down... something has thrown off the code in Mozilla and in Opera. I'll fix it for ya.

ginger said...
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