Knox was put through an extreme version of the test many young women face. She was endowed with compelling, mysterious powers. The focus on her sexuality suggests that civilization can easily tip backward to the primeval era when the feminine was classified, worshiped and feared in the form of powerful archetypes: Madonnas and Dianas, virgins and whores. Knox inadvertently fed these archetypes by the ways she behaved in public and advertised herself on the Web and, eventually, in her own compulsive writings.
In the end, however, it was precisely because she wasn't that monster, because she hadn't perfected that persona in the world, that she could do so little to defend herself. Knox had barely defined herself; she didn't possess the language or the maturity to match, let along overcome, the authority of other people's notions.
In Perugia's archaeology museum, there are hundreds of ancient Etruscan funerary urns. For some reason, perhaps having to do with women dying in childbirth, many of them feature a carved relief depicting the Iphigenia fable. Iphigenia was the daughter of Agamemnon, who agreed to sacrifice her so that his ships might sail to Troy. At the last moment, the goddess Diana replaced the girl with a deer. In prison, Knox's jail mates nicknamed her Bambi, apparently because of her passivity in the face of accusations.