Samatar’s use of the first-person perspective, from a foreign narrator, emphasizes a more dynamic relationship between the narrator and the Huntress, especially their mutual interests toward each other. This is accentuated by the narrator’s ignorance about the Huntress until the reader is able to share her experience through her stream of consciousness. The Huntress is a mystical creature without any description of her appearance. Its mythological imagery is punctuated by merely indirect descriptions of “dark patches” and leaving “a streak”, leaving the tone of suspense. The narrator’s ignorance of the Huntress fosters a distinctly different attitude toward her. The narrator seems fearless or even curious toward the Huntress despite her being antagonistic and fierce, a stark contrast with other townspeople who are hidden “under beds” and “covering heads”. In addition, the narrator seems to relate to the Huntress as if they are building connections and the narrator is interested in her feelings. While the narrator attempts to relate to the Huntress, “feel like…turning into” her, the Huntress bears witness but not feeds on the narrator, very different than her attitude toward the townspeople that is evident in their fear.
The plot structure of the story also contributes to Samatar’s effective characterization of the Huntress as a violent yet exaggerated creature. The use of flashback is a reminder to the reader that a lion does not have a grand howl but a realistic “whining hunger”. The high yet small voice of the Huntress seems to be a situational irony against the fearful description in the beginning of the story, yet her entrance in the story and the crime she possibly committed again reinforces her vile mentality, heightening the tension and breaking up the suspense at the ending.
The Huntress is about feeding the fear of the unknown. How ignorance can help someone build-up the desiring of knowing and the courage.
My notes on the story: