Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing is a 2022 book adaptation directed by Olivia Newman. It dives into the story of Kya Clark who got abandoned by her family from a very young age. She survives in the marshes of North Carolina by herself—living off selling mussels to a local store—and acquires the name ‘marsh girl’ from the townsfolk. She tries going to school but is immediately looked upon as an outsider. Kya quits after one day and decides to “learn from nature instead of school”. As she becomes of age, she befriends a boy named Tate who teaches her to read and write. After Tate has left her to pursue his studies, she gets involved with Chase, a traumatic experience because he eventually makes her a victim of rape. Kya was okay living in the marsh by herself, but now she lives in constant fear. The fear she felt was luckily not experienced for long, as Chase mysteriously died soon after. She becomes truly happy when Tate returns, and both get romantically involved. The film alternates the trial against Kya—who is sued for first degree murder of Chase and finally acquitted—and her life story.

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Where the Crawdads Sing explores the beauty of nature. We get to see beautiful scenery of the marsh and how to coexist with it. Kya lived her life in the marsh without hurting anyone, but the townsfolk hated her just because she was ‘different’ being around nature too much. Apart from the beauty of nature, the movie also shows its amoral truth when Kya explains to her book editor—she makes beautiful picture books of wild life in the marsh—that fireflies have two different light signals, one for mating and one to attract a male in order to make him her next meal. There is no “darkside to nature, just inventive ways to endure (…) there is no morality in nature”. Since Kya was so involved in nature her entire life, she got accustomed to this amoral truth. This resulted in her comparing her situation with Chase to prey and predator, with Kya being the prey and Chase being the predator. And sometimes, “for prey to live, the predator must die”. It is only after Kya died at a later age at the end of the film, that Tate realizes that it was Kya after all who murdered Chase, an unexpected plot twist. Tate decides to take Kya’s secret to the grave.

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