Animals In The Eyes of The Dragon
Although it may seem quite absurd, the role of animals
in The Eyes of the Dragon is a very supreme and
dignified part of the novel. Through the development
of the novel, the animal kingdom roars novel from insects to dogs and they
all play their own, individual roles. The great black and white Anduan Husky
named Frisky who is, out of all of her dogs, Naomi's favorite, leads Ben
Staad and Naomi directly to the whereabouts of Dennis, Peter's butler.
Flagg's animals are symbols of his plans for the downfall of Delain. The
dragon that is killed by King Roland may be considered the most the memorable
of all. In this archetypal tale, Thomas sees Flagg murder Thomas's father
through the eyes of the dragon. In the end of the novel, though, all of the
animals' roles fall into place.
Frisky, Naomi's companion, is a strong-willed, over-
confident, Anduan Husky who may have been the "greatest
tracking dog that ever lived." This dog sums up the
meaning of a man's best friend. Frisky, who can track a
three-day-old scent in the middle winter, is the reason
the story takes place as it does. Just as arson dogs
help pinpoint the location of substances used to start
fires, Frisky uses her keen sense of smell to pinpoint
exactly where Dennis, son of Brandon, has journeyed to
from Peyna's farmhouse. Dennis's mission is to go back
to the castle where Thomas the Tax-Bringer and Flagg,
the king's magician, live and are at high power. Peyna,
who has just given up his Judge-General's bench, has a
feeling that there is some reason why Peter has asked
for the Royal Napkins and his mother's dollhouse. Dennis
is to find this reason by sending a letter to Peter,
who is imprisoned at the time. Dennis journeys from
Peyna's farm in the Inner Baronies back to the fearful
castle with nothing except for the risks of getting
killed. Five days later, with not a soul knowing the
whereabouts of Dennis, Naomi and Ben Staad (Peter's
best friend) come upon the deserted farm. Naomi's dogs
have been pulling the sleds for thirty miles all the
way from a snowy hollow in which they were camping.
The two now feel helpless. With no clue on where there
friend had traveled to, they search diligently for any
signs of what they are to do next and find nothing at
all. "If only there were a way to track him," Ben says
and, thereafter, a light bulb lights in Naomi's head
like the sun on a due-soaked morning (King 296). This
is the epitome of where Frisky fits into the picture.
After brief discussion and argument, Ben and Naomi
discover that there are traces of Dennis in this
abandoned shed but it cannot be detected by humans and
Frisky's sense of smell is like the "eyesight of a man
with the gaze of a hawk" (King 299). Stephen King
substantially points out that Dennis's scent is a
bright electric blue and that Frisky has the scent
stored away in her "library of scents" (King 299).
Frisky leads her companions far and high, through
many miles of snow to the deserted farmhouse and
eventually to a place in which they are forced to pause.
astle moat. One may appear dumbfounded considering why
Frisky is referred to above as being 'over-confident.'
At the moat, after some minor conflict, the Anduan Husky personally
expedites the situation and takes a leap of faith into the great sewer
pipe which takes the travelers under the castle and directly to Dennis's
location. Besides the fact that Frisky's "noble nose" is a main theme and
could be considered by some a moral, there is more educational and
entertainment values here than in any other part of the story.
Flagg's animals aide him in all of his attempts to doom the kingdom of
Delain. For example, the deathwatch spider that Flagg kept encaged for
twenty years is his way to attempt to kill Sasha, the King's beloved wife.
The spider has been feeding on newborn baby mice that are dying from poison.
The spider is blood red and as big as a rat (King 31). Flagg squeezes the
spider to death and mixes the deadly insides with a glass of brandy,
something that Sasha drinks a glass of each night to help her sleep. Flagg
rings for a servant to come and take the glass to her. Sasha never finds out
how close to death she came that night (King 33). Another example is the
mouse Flagg uses to set up Peter. Flagg is a very powerful magician. With
this knowledge, no one would question Flagg's abilities to place Dragon Sand,
the most deadly substance of the time, into a box that he stole from Peter
long ago and hide the box, along with a cursed mouse, into a secret place
that, allegedly, only Peter knows about. Because the evidence of the crime is
found in a place that only Peter
knows about, people begin to see a murderer's face
behind a mask of affection and respect (King 116). Peter
is then tried before a jury and taken to the top of the
needle where he is to spend the rest of his life.
The reader is introduced to the dragon at the beginning
of the novel when King Roland and others are hunting and
ire-breathing creature. The young dragon is killed when
the brave King nocks his arrow, draws, and fires.
Roland makes a direct hit in the spot under the dragon's
throat where it takes in air to create fire (King 13).
The dragon dies immediately. Otherwise called the Niner,
the dragon's head is hung up in King Roland's sitting
room along with the head of every other animal in which
the King had considered worth keeping (King 92). The
dragon's head is a major secret of the castle. Flagg,
being the magician he is, knows most secrets of the
castle (No one, not even he, know all of them) (King 81)
. Flagg, after Thomas has a bad day at a luncheon with
his father, shows the secrets to Thomas, for he has a
feeling it may lead to mischief. This turns out to be
true. The secret is this: After one is led through a
maze of corridors and through the "dim" door, he must
press a certain stone in order to access the passageway
that is revealed after the click is heard (King 89). At
the end of the passageway, there are two little panels.
After sliding these panels, one find himself behind the
Niner and will discover that he can see directly
through the dragon's eyes. Though heeding Flagg's advice
not to go too often, Thomas is watching the night in
which Flagg poisons King Roland. But after Thomas is
declared King, and years of dealing with terrible
nightmares, Thomas discovers one thing: guilt and
secrets, like murdered bones, never rest easy (King 167)
Stated in this collection of ideas is that the role of
the animals in The Eyes of the Dragon is a supreme and
dignified part of the novel. The reader must reread the
novel for any further confirmation. In conclusion, one
can now acknowledge that animals' effect on how
something takes place is important to everyday living
as well as important to the world of literature.
Written by Michael Peebles in Hoover,AL
contact at: BeerAMid@aol.com
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