The Sculptress Essay, Research Paper
Olive Martin was sentenced to life for killing and dismembering her mother and sister, earning herself the nickname the Sculptress. The way in which she mutilated the bodies was horrific but in a crude sense artistic (like a Sculptress). In addition, Olive is also dubbed “the Sculptress” for the crude wax and clay figures she moulds in her cell of imaginary people as well as people she is familiar with (pg 97).
Olive began to mould it. Her memory was good. She had no doubt of her ability to imbue the tiny figure with distinct individuality. This one would be man.
Besides moulding figures of her past recollection, Olive also moulds a clay figure of Roz and stabs it continuously with pins, in order to intimidate her. Olive releases her aggression by destroying her cell, and by disfiguring her clay figures with brutal force.
However, there is more to it than simply sculpting clay figures and for the way she arranged the bodies of her mother and sister. The Sculptress is an analogy as to how Olive manipulates society, and most importantly Rosalind Leigh. Despite Olive’s protestations of guilt, Roz becomes convinced that Olive is hiding something and protecting someone. Olive manipulates Roz by feeding her specific information about her past and by indirectly answering to Roz s questions, making her speculation more tedious and difficult. Furthermore, Olive has the ability to place implied thoughts into Roz s mind – I d like to do what you did , she said in a monotone voice, and kill someone [Rupert] . What Roz really meant to say that was tired and overworked.
Slowly, Roz comes to the only conclusion that Olive is innocent of the crime. Strangely, Roz is drawn into this strange relationship of manipulation and mutual trust, which leads her to completing her novel hence proving Olive s innocence. By manipulating Roz, Olive also manipulates society by justifying the law in which she was punished.
The structure of the novel is similar to that of sculpting a clay figure. As the story moves further into the plot, it begins to dig deeper into Olive Martin’s background. The plot thickens when Roz investigates Olive’s allegation that her father and a male neighbour were having an affair. As we learn more about Olive the book begins to unravel and it is like forming the clay into something that is actually distinguishable.
There are many as to why Olive Martin is characterise as the sculptress. Although, the main significant reason as to why she is called the sculptress is due to the fact of how the novel is structured.