While I disliked the Borges readings (it’s true, Jon), I did like reading “The Daisy Dolls.” My initial impression of the story was that it was another feminist story, where women are depicted as daisy dolls to be used for pleasure and thrown aside once they ceased to interest their masters. Then I realized this may be one element to the story, but the story seemed to center more on Horace than the actual daisy dolls (despite the title of the book). So what is this story trying to say about Horace?
The way I see it, Horace is, in some ways, a form of Jekyll. A man who has an “outside” self and an “inside” self. He has his hidden desires that won’t go away, so he turns to a solution to indulge in them. He doesn’t exactly have a Hyde, but he does try to hide his sexual relationship with a doll. At least he does make an attempt to do so. Whether he is actually successful or not is another story. I found it hard to understand how any person could possibly be sexually attracted to a doll- and act on those impulses too! Maybe I’m being narrow-minded. After reading the short story, I’m still not quite sure what kind of a person Horace is. Has he been abused in his childhood, so now he’s messed up and wants to have many relationships with many dolls? He cares about his wife, but he still can’t help himself from cheating on her. We don’t know what happened in his childhood. We’re only given a hint. Apparently, they died in an epidemic when he was a child- and he resented them for it. What happened after that? We don’t know.
And what is it about those daisy dolls? Are they really a host body for spirits, as Horace believed? Or are they manufactured as sexual objects? In some ways, they really are both. They’re not just dolls. There’s something odd about them. They’re not the dolls you’d give a child to play with. They’re like… inanimate prostitutes? As for the spirit theory, the dolls really do have a personality. Horace swears they even move on their own. So what are they, really? Even after pondering this question many times, I still haven’t a clue. If I had to go with one answer, I’d say these dolls are inanimate prostitutes. But even that answer isn’t a sufficient answer. They’re more than prostitutes.