The Swan Bed


Back in June , Julianne Hannes , who also created this wonderful collage asked :
What was the significance of the Swan Bed ? Is it symbolism ?

The Swan bed is dominant within the Dollanganger saga and with anything Virginia does , this was a completely intentional detail.

Neisha Chetty explained at the time :

“Okay, Jules I actually gave another poem which solved the mystery of the Dollhouse by a poet called Yeates.

Here’s another mention of the yeates I was going to post later on.

The Swan
Swans are a common symbol in poetry, often used to depict idealized nature. Yeats employs this convention in “The Wild Swans at Coole” (1919), in which the regal birds represent an unchanging, flawless ideal. In “Leda and the Swan,” Yeats rewrites the Greek myth of Zeus and Leda to comment on fate and historical inevitability: Zeus disguises himself as a swan to rape the unsuspecting Leda. In this poem, the bird is fearsome and destructive, and it possesses a divine power that violates Leda and initiates the dire consequences of war and devastation depicted in the final lines. Even though Yeats clearly states that the swan is the god Zeus, he also emphasizes the physicality of the swan: the beating wings, the dark webbed feet, the long neck and beak. Through this description of its physical characteristics, the swan becomes a violent divine force. By rendering a well-known poetic symbol as violent and terrifying rather than idealized and beautiful, Yeats manipulates poetic conventions, an act of literary modernism, and adds to the power of the poem.

This is from Sparknotes. Yeates wrote the Second Coming a poem I know pretty well and is actually one of my all time favourites. It is also a poem that’s intertwined with the Dollanganger series. I’m doing yeates and the Dollanganger series at the moment.”

Neisha Chetty is correct . The swan bed is highly symbolic of the myth of Leda and the Swan . 
There are actually two versions of the myth – where Zeus rapes Leda and the other where he seduces her.

I believe both versions have been used . Firstly with Corrine I the swan bed is where she would entertain her lovers. To young malcolm , these lovers possessed a god like power which took his mother away . Secondly , the swan bed is where Malcolm rapes Alicia , he himself having zeus like power

There is a fuller theory I have been working on for years which will be uploaded to the blog in due course,
to read the full post on AtticSecrets and other members comments check out

This is just one of the many discussions we have on the group and the more intricate details of the saga we look into – you’re welcome to join us and ask any questions or even provide us with a theory or two yourselves 😉

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jessica Zinder says:

    Although you findings are on the mark. There are more images the swan itself is known for. The swan (the bird) mates for life, which is portrayed over and over in Cathy and Chirs, And although they never mated in the swan bed both preents were conceived in it and both used the baby swan bed (which changes names and sizes throughout the series so take from that what you will.)

    Liked by 1 person

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