Q: There are many similarities between the swan and Alaska. Were you aware of this connection?
That is really compelling. I don’t think I was conscious of it, but it holds together better than a lot of metaphors I did intend.
The more I think about it, the more interesting it becomes. Swans are animals that we romanticize—endowing with nobility and beauty—but if you’ve ever actually encountered a swan, they’re a hell of a lot more complicated than that. The complex (and flawed) ideas associating whiteness and purity resonate for both swans and Alaska, too.
Most importantly, swans are traditionally associated with a passive beauty: They are things to be looked at. But in fact swans are capable of agency and power and biting people on the butt.
I like it!