Charles Addams created the characters and macabre world of The Addams Family, and the cartoon was published for the first time in the 1938 edition of The New Yorker magazine. In 1964, it was adapted into a television series and later into an animated one. With time, the characters evolved, and people started seeing them as symbols of a much larger philosophy. So, let’s analyze one such symbol, where the character of Wednesday is compared to a raven. More than once in the series, she was called a raven, though not in a bad way. The writers created an altogether different character sketch of the creature, which was quite in contrast to the generally accepted notion.
The Link Between Wednesday, Raven, And Edgar Allan Poe
A raven is often considered a bad omen. It feeds on carrion, and it makes a harsh croaking noise. All these physical traits make people associate the creature with dark energies and unpleasant happenings. Moreover, it has always been depicted in literary works as this evil creature that symbolizes grief, loss, and bad fortune, mostly because of its appearance. Wednesday called Edgar Allan Poe one of her favorite poets, as the writer was known for his gothic stories and poems that often-told tales filled with morbidity and mystery. The writer was shown as a celebrity alumnus of Nevermore Academy, and the school took a great deal of pride in being the alma mater of one of the most renowned poets of the time. Having a macabre subject matter was something that Wednesday enjoyed, and she found it quite intriguing how the writer said things in a cryptic manner and how he personified death and tragedy in his literary works. Even in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven,” the creature is shown as a personification of unending grief and melancholy. In the poem, a raven comes to visit the narrator, who is grieving the loss of his lover named, Lenore. The narrator starts asking questions from the Raven, but it constantly just says and repeats one word: Nevermore. Consumed by grief, the narrator thinks, quite pessimistically, that he will never be able to be happy again in his life. The Raven depicts the gloom and misery of the narrator. It represented a sense of hopelessness, and the narrator had decided that he would have to consider it an inevitable part of his life. But for the Addams family, the Raven was a creature that could sense and prophesize what would happen in the future. Wednesday was often told that the Raven is her spirit animal, mostly because of the cynical and dark perspective and the kind of choices she made. Wednesday saw the world through a darker lens, unlike her mother, who only had positive psychic visions. Morticia called Wednesday’s visions more potent as they weren’t idealist in nature, and they told the reality no matter how gory, dark or unpleasant it was. Just like a raven or a crow, ruthless pragmatism is what Wednesday also believed in. She knew that to survive in the world, sometimes you need to get your hands dirty. A crow steals eggs from other birds’ nests to feed its own chicks, and that is one of the prime reasons for it being defamed by humans. But no matter how barbaric it might seem; it also reflects the society we live in. Though we are not saying that in order to survive and flourish, you need to be the reason for adversity in someone else’s life, this is how the world functions.
Wednesday was not an evil person, even though her tastes and inclinations were quite dark and macabre. She was empathetic towards others and, to some extent, even protective of the people she loved. We saw how she told Eugene not to go into the forest alone, as she didn’t want him to risk his life. She also advised him to not make a fool of himself by trying to woo Enid, who was not interested in him at all. Being an outcast, she wouldn’t have been able to survive if she were a dove. Her brother Pugsley Addams was bullied and tortured by his colleagues because he was too timid to revert back and give them a befitting reply. Whenever Wednesday had chosen to trust, she had to face betrayal, which deeply hurt her sentiments. She had started believing that being emotional was a sign of weakness. She was different from others, and she had realized that the world wouldn’t treat her fairly, and she would have to snatch what was hers. She believed that it was the survival of the fittest, and in order to deal with all the prejudices, she would have to fight for her cause as nobody else would do so in her stead. Wednesday was considered a raven, not only because of the way she looked but also because she was a strong and intelligent girl who understood the hypocrisy of human beings a bit more than others.
Easter Eggs In ‘Wednesday’ Season 1
When Charles Addams created the character of the elder daughter of the Addams family, he didn’t know what her name would be. He read an anonymous poem titled, “Wednesday’s child is full of woe,” and got inspired by the same. He thereby named the character Wednesday Addams. The poem says that children who are born on Wednesdays encompass a deep and dark abyss inside them, not because they are evil but because they are way too empathetic for others. It distresses them to see all the suffering and pain in the world. Being an outcast, Wednesday had seen what happened to those who didn’t raise their voice and the grief-laden lives they had to live. The Netflix series pays homage to Charles Addams when Principal Weems tells Morticia and Gomez, in the very first episode, how unique the name Wednesday is. Morticia tells Weems that though Wednesday was born on Friday, her name was inspired by her favorite nursery rhyme, maybe because she saw that woe betide anybody who didn’t fit the pattern of what people referred to as “normal.”
When the menacing Uncle Fester came to meet Wednesday, he told her about the diary of Nathaniel Faulker. Wednesday was quite curious to know what kind of beast she was up against. She showed the picture of the beast to Uncle Fester, who told her that the creature was called Hyde and that she would find a lot of information about it in Faulkner’s diary. They went to the Nightshade library and found the diary hidden in a safe behind a portrait of Iggy Itt. Uncle Fester told Wednesday that Iggy Itt was the right hand of Faulkner and had trained a generation of nightshades. Iggy Itt was a tribute to another character created by Charles Addams named Cousin Itt. Cousin Itt was portrayed as this unusually small being whose whole body was covered with long blonde hair, and the mambo-jumbo words he spoke were only understood by the members of the family.
Wednesday had found out that there was a secret passageway in Nevermore Academy, which led her to the Nightshade Library. There was a sculpture of Edgar Allan Poe holding a book in one of the lobbies. Wednesday had figured out that the lines that were written in the book were, in fact, a riddle that was hiding a password. Wednesday came to know that the password needed to unlock the secret passageway was a simple double snap of fingers. This scene was a tribute to the double snap used in the theme song of the Addams Family animated series.
The first season of “Wednesday” left us on a cliffhanger, though a lot of things are still unknown. We hope that just like the first season, the upcoming seasons of Wednesday not only preserve the legacy of The Addams family but also give us more symbolizations and references to mull over.