Pat Murphy: His Vegetable wife
The power of the harasser, the abuser, the rapist depends above all on the silence of women. Ursula K. Le Guin
His Vegetable Wife is a short science fiction story, written in late eighties by Pat Murphy. It describes a relationship between male human and female plant, which is sort of a human too, or some of us would say, she is some kind of alien creature. At the beginning the story is relatively realistic; the man has planted the seed and is waiting for the results. However, the story’s content shifts when we find out that this plant will, in the near future, become the man’s wife; a real wife. Therefore, the story reveals its fictional base and continues with the plant, growing into a beautiful, mature vegetable wife, with human body and some of human abilities. However, before she can start her living, she is sexually abused by a man who owns her, Fynn. If we examine the whole story, we can say that at first the Vegetable wife shows no emotion on Fynn’s continuous abuses, but on the end she kills him and plants him, like he planted her. She certainly has to feel something; otherwise she would not kill him for any reason. I think that this theory goes from fiction to science. We know that plants are living beings like human; however, I think we are not fully aware, or we do not pay any attention that nature can feel too. Science has proved that the nature is growing, developing, changing, dying, etc. Some science studies say that plants can see, smell, taste, feel and even listen to their surroundings. Even as seeds they are sensitive to as many as twenty different factors. The issue of this story is presented in a way that is closer to readers, so to people, or more to women. We get the feeling that Vegetable wife is some kind of human, for this reason we can identify ourselves with her and her feelings. She has been a victim of sexual and violent harassment and that is why the story shocked us. We probably heard a few...
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