Facts about the book
The life and loves of a She-devil is a satirical novel and is first published in 1983. It is narrated alternating in first a third person. The narrator tells the story, he knows pretty much from what is going on in the mind of the main character. The story covers a length of a couple of years and it is told chronologically. The setting is in England in a hypothetical suburb, the big city the suburb belongs to and the surrounding countryside. Middle-class and in the present.
Main character and title
I like the main character, because she is a very weird person. She is very strong and clever. The things she does are really smart, nobody could do what she has done. I like that.
Explanation of the title is simple. The title 'The life and loves of a she-devil' means the course of life of a she-devil. Ruth, the main character wants to be a she-devil, after her ex-husband had said she was a she-devil.
Fay Weldon makes a very strong feminist statement. She ridicules the demands society puts on women on a funny way. So the theme of the book seems to be that women shouldn't put up with oppression. Also, a woman who wants to shape her own life will always be seen as immoral by society. (Everybody is very surprised by what Ruth is doing and the women she met are all helpless) At the same time the book states that to really shape her own life, a woman would have to be impossibly hard and determined - like Ruth, who is clever, but absolutely an unrealistic person.
End of the book
The end of the book surprised me. I hadn't thought that Ruth would turn herself into Mary Fisher and take Bobo with her in the High Tower (the house of Mary Fisher). So, I think the end of the book is appropriate because it is surprising you.
It is a very funny, satiric and original book. Some passages were long-winded, like the passage when she lived by Judge and his family. But the things Ruth does to destroy the lives of Mary Fisher and Bobo are nice to read about.
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