Only the Animals: Stories - Plautus: A Memoir of My Years on Earth and Last Days in Space: Soul of Tortoise, Died 1968, Space Summary & Analysis

Ceridwen Dovey
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Summary

This story begins with a first-person tortoise narrator, deciding to present herself to the Tolstoy family as their pet. The tortoise reveals that before this, she was living with Oleg an “ornamental hermit in the Hermitage” of a wealthy, Russian family (120). The family hired Oleg to perform as a hermit, but over time, Oleg “morphed into the real thing” (120). He spoke only to the tortoise, explaining his various philosophies (beginning with Aesop’s fable, then the Greek myths, then Chinese mythology, then Darwinism, then Christianity). When fascinated with the ancient Romans, Oleg named the tortoise “Plautus,” after “the Roman comic playwright who valued imagination and the fantastic above anything he could scavenge from real life” (121).

When Oleg becomes fascinated with Christian, Plautus decides to seek the companionship...

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This section contains 2,437 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Only the Animals: Stories Study Guide
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