Study Guide

Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice) Women and Femininity

By Joseph Delaney

Women and Femininity

"Some pretty women can't be trusted." (4.5)

Um, okay? What about pretty men? Forget it. We guess that the Spook has to say "some" because he still trusts the ultimate pretty woman, Julia Roberts.

"There are two things that respond well to flattery: boggarts and some women." (6.8)

And which of those two does the Spook count on to cook his dinner? The boggart. Because women probably wouldn't come anywhere near this guy and his frequently misogynistic remarks.

"Never trust a woman." (6.28)

This is the second time the Spook has said this. Who do you think has done him wrong in the past? Who has made him so bitter?

"My mother's a woman. [...] And I trust her." (6.29)

Tom is able to discern between the Spook's "advice" and what he has learned from his own life experience. We're not sure Tom will ever subscribe to the Spook's distrust of women. And we're thankful for that.

"Watch out for the village girls. Especially any who wear pointy shoes." (6.33)

Maybe the Spook prefers open-toed shoes. In all seriousness, this is an opaque way of telling Tom not to trust witches, and we have to admit that, when it comes to Alice, he might be right.

Despite [Alice's] slim arms and narrow waist, she had to be very strong. (7.107)

Shocker: women can rings bells, too. Maybe Tom does have a little prejudice against women in him.

"Is it right to treat an old woman so badly?" (7.120)

As we see from Mother Malkin, women can wreak some terrible havoc. Does this mean that the Spook's comments have any validity? Why or why not? Why are all of the evil beings in this book women?

Just because she was a girl, that didn't necessarily make her weaker than me. (11.102)

Tom may be a little sexist, but Alice is helping to break him out of his old mindset. With that kind of upper body strength, she could probably break his arms too.

My dad once told me that women know things that men don't. [...] You should never ask them what they're thinking. If you do, they might tell you something you don't want to hear. (12.26)

Is this typical Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus talk? Or does this opinion have some truth in it, do you think?

Men worked on the farm, outdoors in all weathers, and when they came in, the women had a hot meal waiting on the table. The only time we [men] ever helped in the kitchen was on Christmas Day, when we did the washing up as a special treat for Mam. (12.93)

Big treat, boys. Don't go all overboard by helping the women too much. You wouldn't want to be thought of as feminine. Or, you know, feminist.