What Does Lib Drink Every Night in The Wonder? Why Does She Drink Her Own Blood?

Image Credit: Aidan Monaghan/Netflix

Netflix’s period film ‘The Wonder’ revolves around Anna O’Donnell, an eleven-year-old Irish girl who has been surviving without food for four months. Astounded by Anna’s ability to live without any nourishment except for water, the elders of the village formed a committee to monitor her and appoints an English nurse named Elizabeth “Lib” Wright to look after her. When almost all of the folks of Anna’s village consider her a living miracle, Lib tries to be rational and sets out to discover how the girl can live without food. She also keeps several secrets from the O’Donnells and the village elders, which includes her daily intake of a liquid. So, what does Lib drinks every night? Why does she taste her own blood? Let us share our thoughts regarding the same! SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Dark Nightcap: Unraveling Elizabeth’s Rituals

Elizabeth “Lib” Wright arrives in Ireland to take care of Anna after going through several personal hardships. Lib had a daughter who lived only three weeks and two days. After her death, Lib had stooped to immense distress. The little woolen socks Lib carries with the bottle of the liquid show how she hasn’t moved on from the shock of the same. In addition to her daughter’s death, Lib’s husband, Mr. Wright, abandoned her. He vanished from her life after the tragedy, making her believe that her husband is as good as dead. Thus, Lib most likely is drinking liquid opioids to calm her nerves, which helps her sleep.

Image Credit: Christopher Barr/Netflix

In addition to her daughter’s death, Lib had to witness the horrors of the Crimean War, which caused the death of around 500,000 lives. As a nurse who had to treat the soldiers, Lib might have had to deal with deaths day after day, which must have further affected her mental health. After a while, she must have started to find solace in opioids, which helped her forget the distress caused by her daughter’s death and the horrors she witnessed during the war. Thus, the substance might have become an integral part of her life as it helps her sleep peacefully, without nightmares concerning deaths haunting her.

After drinking the liquid, Lib also pricks her finger with a needle and tastes her own blood each time. This can be a self-harming ritual she has been doing ever since getting affected by her daughter’s death and the war. Lib must have been seeing herself as good as dead. With no one to love and wait for her, she is alone in this world, fighting nightmares and deaths. Inflicting self-harm might have become her way of reassuring herself that she is alive. Since she does the same after consuming the opioid-like substance, she may not even be doing it in her right state of mind.

Image Credit: Aidan Monaghan/Netflix

Since self-harm can be a manifestation of psychological distress, the traumas that haunt Lib can be the reason behind the “blood ritual.” Lib stops consuming the liquid and harming herself when she commences her efforts to rescue Anna from the O’Donnells and their village. She gains a new purpose and direction for her life, which makes her feel alive and rejuvenated. Helping Anna to overcome the hardships she has been enduring at her house may have been a therapeutic experience for Lib to smash her liquid bottle before she fakes the little girl’s death by burning down the house.

After rescuing Anna, Lib starts a new life as the partner of Will Byrne and mother of Nan, the Irish fasting girl’s new identity. She is able to deal with her traumas with the help of Will and Nan’s love for her, which justifies her decision to stop her intake of the mysterious liquid.

Read More: What is the Meaning of “Manna From Heaven” in The Wonder?