The Animal Game

Throughout this novel, I noticed the repeated subjects of animal being thrown around (especially during Astair’s storyline). Beginning on page 237, Astair mentions “The Animal Game”, which she describes as seeing humans as an animal form. She gives multiple examples such as a couple resembling pigs and shoppers at Target resembling wolves. After reading this passage, I would try and note every time I saw an animal mentioned in other storylines. Xanther’s storyline on page 375 is titled, “Prey”, which is referred to as an animal being hunted. Luther’s storyline, beginning on page 353, is titled, “Dawgz” and toward dogs have a prominent relevance during that storyline. Also, in Astair’s storyline on page 439, her and Tay talk about being called different types of animals (ferret, chimpanzee).
For this post, I wanted to see if (1) anyone else noticed these animal references and (2) if anyone had any thoughts on the animals that these characters resemble, whether it is personality wise, or even physical feature wise (I know we cannot actually see what the characters look like, but with descriptions we can imagine in our heads). I even read Dov’s name as “Dove”, which reminds me of the bird. To start off, I wanted to relate the dying cat that Xanther finds with the picture of herself that she found on the Horrorsphere. The picture she found of herself was an ugly, scarred, and scary version of herself. When she finds the cat, it is buried underneath trash. Both beings (human/animal) are in need of saving.

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2 responses to “The Animal Game”

  1. dgatewoood says :

    I would add the last Isandoro chapter in which he goes to pick up the animal crates. There are four crates (only supposed to be three), and three of the crates contain animals (small hyena, baby elephant, baby giraffe), but the mysterious fourth crate’s contents are unknown. It’s “beyond” Isandoro. And then we get the weird graphic novel-ish two pages, in which the narrator asks if one would consider eating human flesh as part of an upscale meal. I can’t help but wonder if that fourth crate is a human. The juxtaposition seems to suggest that possibility.

  2. dragonwolf7777 says :

    I’m a sucker when it comes to linking human traits to the animal kingdom. I too noticed the continual reference to humans linked to animals. This probably comes from the title. But I also thought of Native American mythology of the totem. In this mythology the totem is supposed to either drive the person to act like the animal (for example someone with the wolf totem would be a hunter or the eagle would be a leader) or highlight the characteristics that a person already has. I think the book makes more references to the latter explanation then the former. So I don’t think that Xanther is really in need to be saved but that she needs to be the savior. Xanther is really aware of her situation and that her parents really want to save her, but it gives her a need to save something else (in this case the cat/Narcon).

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