Literary Topics In the Bog Girl By Karen Russell

Literary Topics in “The Bog Girl” simply by Karen Russell

  • The Swamp, fen, marsh, quagmire Girl is a brief story by Karen Russell that has been published in The New Yorker in 2016. It explains an imagined scenario exactly where Cillian, a teen born to some single teenage mother, discovers a well-preserved lifeless girl inside a bog and falls into really like with her. Their environment eventually allows the situation, although his family offers misgivings about the particular boy’s well-being. Nevertheless, Cillian’s illusion will be shattered once the lady comes back to our lives, and they portion, though he in no way manages to neglect. The Bog Lady explores two main literary topics: the particular mismatch between perception and reality plus the emotional detach between parents plus teenage children.

    Expectations and Disappointment

    Cillian’s obsession along with the Bog Lady is a substantial section of the reason the reason why other characters carry out not object in order to his activities and frequently end up taking part. As Russell brings up, people that used in order to bully him keep him alone, plus closed groups permit his presence in gatherings and even pick the pair up in a limousine. Cillian believes that he understands everything about the girl, studying her and discovering new features daily. In doing thus, he makes several assumptions like that will his love will be protecting against decomposing or that he understands love better than his peers. Cillian talks about giving the entirety of oneself to one’s true love even as his studies and dreams suffer and assumes that his beloved agrees.

    The fact that the Bog Girl neither consents nor disagrees entirely is partially what makes the acceptance of the reality so challenging for the boy once she comes back to life. Russell notes that he sees the same sort of love for him in her eyes as he has for her, and the two visions conflict. However, the two cannot communicate or understand each other because they do not speak the same language. Cillian’s response to the dissonance is terror; he screams to his mother for help against a person that does not mean him any harm (Russell). The relationship that was built on misconceptions and self-deceptions ends with a bad breakup, from which Cillian never quite recovers psychologically.

    Distance among Parents and Teenagers

    The boy’s like for the Swamp, fen, marsh, quagmire Girl brings huge changes to their relationship with their mother, Gillian. The particular family gets in to several conflicts, plus the mother will be likely driven to imbibe due to the particular stress (Russell). The girl is opposed in order to the existence of Bog Lady and anxious over the particular amounts of interest that he provides her, but this individual rebels against any kind of try to get your pet to prevent doing therefore. The dramatic modifications brought about simply by the incident uncover a side in order to Cillian’s personality that will Gillian was not really aware of, one which reminds her associated with the boy’s father (Russell). At the same time, the teen resents the fact that his mother refuses to see him for the person he considers himself to be, fueling further conflict.

    Cillian eventually wins the struggle, getting his mother to relent, but also exposing her weaknesses. His love for her is unchanged, and he understands that Gillian hides a lot of pain that she wants to share but cannot. Cillian tries to support her, but puts his life, mostly the aspect of it that concerns Bog Girl, before his mother, acknowledging her drinking problem but doing nothing about it (Russell). However, the ending reveals that the teen has not changed entirely and still depends on Gillian whenever confronted with unpredicted situations. His 1st reaction to Bog Girl’s awakening is in order to call out “Mom! ”, whose guidelines he follows without having question, and right after settling the issue Cillian runs back again to her (Russell). Ultimately, the mother or father and the kid possess a close plus nearly unbreakable relationship, even while they develop apart.


    The Bog Lady is a tale about obsession along with an idea as well as the disconnect between mother and father and children since the latter grow upward. Cillian lets their fantasy about Swamp, fen, marsh, quagmire Girl become a good obsession and can make his life drop apart because associated with it. However, their delusion shatters on inevitable contact along with reality, as well as the after effects affects him with regard to years afterward. In the mean time, Gillian’s conflict ready son makes your pet seem like the different person, plus Cillian exposes a lot of her weaknesses plus old injuries. However, the 2 love each some other regardless, using the child turning to their mother for assist, which she offers without hesitation.

    Work Cited

    Russell, Karen. “The Swamp, fen, marsh, quagmire Girl. ” The New Yorker. 2016, Web.

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