Analysis of the Child by Tiger
Analysis of the Child by Tiger
Every day people are often seen committing good, kind, and helpful acts while others are found committing acts of evil. One doesn’t think, though, of the possibility that those who often do good would rash out in evil acts for no apparent reason at all. It is human nature to simply go along in every day life, knowing right from wrong, knowing the results and consequences of certain acts, and assuming anyone with a different idea is insane. In The Child by Tiger by Thomas Wolfe, a lesson about man’s darker side is taught through explorations of imagery, death, and human behavior. By means of these explorations, the reader can then see how humans are capable of losing touch with reality, taking light of killing, and releasing the evil which lies deep within.
Images of people and things portray to the viewer a general description of the manner and workings of the object in imagery. One might say that a person is shy if he or she walks around with eyes on feet or arms to sides. One might assume another person is haughty if he or she walks around with nose in air or chest puffed out with pride. Thomas Wolfe uses various forms of imagery in his short story, The Child by Tiger, to convey to the reader how quickly one can transform from good to evil. In the beginning of the story, the narrator creates an admirable image of the main character, Dick Prosser, who is a black slave in his thirties, as a deeply religious, gentle, and multi-talented man.
The narrator is recalling on events that occurred twenty-five years earlier when he was a young boy and friend of Prosser. It may be concluded that in his evil state of mind, Prosser used his friendship with the children to keep from getting caught before he could commit his acts of iniquity. He promised them that if they did not tell of his gun he would teach them how to shoot it. This promise might have kept them in suspense as they patiently waited for the unknown events to unfold. Through the eyes of the narrator being a child at the time of these events, the reader’s eyes are opened up to Prosser’s cat-like prowess, speed, and agility along with images of darkness, shadows, and fear. It was noted that Prosser “went too softly, at too swift a pace”, as a shadow of doubt was cast over the once-thought hero. Prosser’s transformation from good to evil is thus begun early in the story.
Death is an inevitable part of the life cycle. Even so, it is the one thing many humans fear the most. We try to avoid all chances of it at best, otherwise attempt to face it with dignity if we cannot avoid it. Dick Prosser, in Thomas Wolfe’s The Child by Tiger, had a different method of dealing with death. He aggressively awoke the beast of death, infuriated it without a care, and then willingly accepted his inevitable fate. Prosser knew his fate beforehand. He planned his actions after he had read a particular portion in the chapter of Exodus in the Bible, which explains why he took off his shoes in symbolism. Man’s darker side was shown not only through the actions of Dick Prosser, but also through the actions of the townspeople. Even though they could have easily arrested Prosser and given him a just punishment,