Back in Chapter One, if you recall, the Market Chipping gossips had the word on Wizard Howl, and the word was “Bluebeard.” So it’s not stretching the point in the least to say that Jones is calling attention to this character, one of the nastier pieces of work in all of fairy tale-dom.
In 100 words or less, here’s the story: the dashing yet sinister Bluebeard gives his young bride the run of his castle and goes off. There is only one door that she must not open. Egged on by her sisters, she opens it and finds it full of bones and blood. Worse, the key to that door starts drooling blood all over everything it touches. Bluebeard figures it out on his return and is about to add her to his collection, but she outsmarts him by sending for her brothers, who make short work of Bluebeard.
There are numberless good books about the archetypes, symbols, and metaphors in fairy tales, myths, and stories of all sorts. For exegesis of the Bluebeard story I particularly like Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who gives him an entire chapter in her book Women Who Run With The Wolves.” [Disclosure: I often find books by women about women to be either too strident or too New-Agey. Estes manages to be neither. Describing herself as “a middle-class mystic with delicate intestines [p. 25],” her down-to-earth sensibility reminds me a great deal of Diana Wynne Jones.]
Bluebeard is one of the teaching tales which are important for women who are young, not necessarily in years, but in some part of their minds. It is a tale of psychic naivete, but also of powerfully breaching the injunction against ‘looking’ and finally cutting down and rendering the natural predator of the psyche. 
We meet that predator again and again, the pre-conscious inertial force of resistance and self-loathing in the core of our own souls. I’ve just spent nearly two months knocked out of commission by it. And writing, which for me is the one thing that will put the monster back to bed, is the hardest thing to do when it’s up and roaming around downstairs, hungry.
Significantly, Estes mentions that Bluebeard is “a failed magician.”  In his quest for power and domination he is like Icarus, who in his hubris soared too high and fell too hard. Bluebeard’s fate, unlike that of Icarus, is to be an outcast from redemption and wholeness, living in a “deep and inexplicable loneliness.” 
Those already familiar with Howl’s Moving Castle will see at once the similarity to Wizard Howl — and the difference.
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