Students in The Advice Project’s Uppity Witches class were asked to rewrite folktales and scenes from books/films in order to illustrate how women characters often receive the short end of the stick.
Katherine tackled Roald Dahl’s story, The Witches. In Dahl’s story, the Grand High Witch is a cruel woman who thinks nothing of offing fellow witches when they question her authority, or of turning children into mice. In the film version, the Grand High Witch, played by Angelica Houston, takes off a mask to reveal her true, hideously ugly visage.
Why is the Grand High Witch so cruel? This is what Katherine attempts to answer by providing the backstory of one of the most evil witches in literature. In Katherine’s story, the Grand High Witch was badly bullied as a child, and was also the subject of witch hunts in Africa (country unknown, although in our Uppity Witches class, we examined contemporary witch hunts in Cameroon and Tanzania). Fortunately, she eventually sees that by being so cruel, she’s playing directly into the hands of the worst evil of all… Patriarchy!
Here’s a video showing Katherine reading an excerpt of her story. Enjoy!