Symbols of Death in Animal Dreams
Somewhere amongst the fallen pecans, the woolen afghan, and the clandestine photographs, we can find in Animal Dreams a consistent symbol of death. Codi is followed throughout the story by a seeming demise of those around her, from friends and family to earthly surroundings. She is faced even with the loss of her own perceptions of herself, her origins, and her instincts. The novel opens and closes on “The Night/Day of All Souls,” granting readers insight into Codi’s past and potential future, including their death of conventionality. Beliefs, motives, and traditions are greatly altered in these chapters, providing vast and changed perceptions of surroundings. Codi’s return to Grace in “Hallie’s Bones” employs the demise of a previous adventure, an avoidance, and a strange unwillingness to accept the security that she secretly longs for. “Bleeding Hearts,” and “A River on the Moon,” describe the death of natural beings in Codi’s own “personal ecosystem.” She is then confronted with the gradual but undeniable death of her father’s mental state in “Day of the Dead,” and “Human Remains.” From the initial loss of her mother and child throughout her development to the realization of her future and environment in adulthood, Codi is...
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