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The White Rat

The Queen riding horses with The White Rat.
The Queen riding horses with The White Rat.

The White Rat is the protagonist so everything that happens in our story depends on our imaginings of her plight.  Unlike some of the other characters such as The King and The Queen, The White Rat does not shift culturally throughout my interpretations.  Rats are rats wherever you go. Rats are universal and although different cultural interpretations surround them, it’s always a white rat.  The Princess is her alter-ego.  Virginia Woolf’s Orlando is an essential reference point:

“The red of the cheeks was covered with peach down; the down on the lips was only a little thicker than the down on the cheeks. The lips themselves were short and slightly drawn back over teeth of an exquisite and almond whiteness. Nothing disturbed the arrowy nose in its short, tense flight; the hair was dark, the ears small, and fitted closely to the head.” (from Orland0)

“The tiny white rat was transformed into a beautiful princess with such fine manners and grace, but still with the faintest trace of pink in her beautiful eyes, and the faintest hint of a twitch at the tip of her beautiful nose”. (from The White Rat)

Themes and motifs from Shakespeare’s Macbeth are also helpful in understanding why The White Rat has no choice but to undergo this transformation.  Her choices arise when cunning comes into play, and the madness of Macbeth is helpful for identifying this and understanding the method behind The Princess’s madness.