(urth) Eyes of Thecla

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Mon May 1 18:33:58 PDT 2006

Wolfe seems to use physical descriptions of his characters in somewhat 
mysterious ways.  I have a few issues I'd like to discuss regarding this.  
First, in BotNS, Thecla is first described as having "great violet eyes, 
lids shaded with blue". Her large, violet eyes are noted numerous times 
later in the text (though they are once called "deep blue" when comparing 
them to Master Ash's eyes; perhaps this is more evidence of Severian's 

In Sword, in a mushroom induced dream, it is implied that Thecla's (and 
other exultant women's)eyes have been made to grow bigger by "the 
application of minute amounts of certain poisons in childhood".  Now there 
is another quasi-character who is described as having eyes with great pupils 
as dark as wells, irises purple as summer flowers.  It is Hethor's 

I don't know of any other characters who are described as having very large 
violet or purple eyes, so it is difficult to call the similarity a 
coincidence, especially since both descriptions first appear in Shadow. But 
what connection can there be between these two?  I have some vague thoughts 
involving the kaibit process but I'm interested in any ideas others might 

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