Green Eyes Essay - Critical Essays

Lucius Shepard


As do many of Lucius Shepards shorter works, Green Eyes features characters alienated from the world in which they live. No one is more alienated than Harrison, a zombie who wants to be able to live as normal a life as possible.

The various points at which Harrisons quest is interrupted highlight his being apart from the rest of the world. First there is his fellow zombie Richmond, who aspires to live what is essentially a version of the 1969 film Easy Rider, in which New Orleans plays a pivotal role. Richmonds adolescent desires—sex, drugs, and rock and roll—contrast with Harrisons even as Falstaff’s clinging to the “chimes at midnight” alienates him from King Henry.

Harrison’s initial encounter with Papa Salvatino also reveals his isolation. When Harrison sets up a faith healing practice, in an effort to strengthen and better understand his abilities, he encounters Herve Robichaux, whom he cures of terminal lung cancer. Robichaux’s heartless attitude after he is cured leaves Harrison questioning why he wants to help humanity.

Finally, there is the matter of Otille. Harrison compromises most of the principles by which he claims to abide (including having cuckolded Jocundra) to no positive effect. Harrison kills people both because he has to and because he can. By the time he dies, Harrison has become as human—in the sense of being vicious and evil—as anyone else on the plantation. He has...

(The entire section is 492 words.)