Only the Animals: Stories Symbols & Objects

Ceridwen Dovey
This Study Guide consists of approximately 86 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Only the Animals.
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Goanna

In "The Bones," the goanna symbolizes the ghosts of voices silenced, who continue to haunt the living. The goanna stalks Master Mitchell and his companions; Master Mitchell says to him, "it's you [my father] dreams about, you who comes to haunt him" (12). For Master Mitchell and his father, the goanna symbolizes the ghosts of the workers killed when they committed arson. However, for Dovey's story, the goanna symbolizes the ghosts of all marginalized voices who have not been heard until now--particularly, the voices of the animals. Master Mitchell kills the goanna, but this murder does not prevent the ghosts from speaking. All narrators of Dovey's stories speak after death, allowing them to haunt the reader just as the goanna haunts Master Mitchell.

The Pigeons

In "Pigeons, A Pony, the Tomcat, and I," the pigeons symbolize the unconditional love and loyalty between Colette and Kiki. From the...

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This section contains 1,283 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Only the Animals: Stories Study Guide
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