(urth) PEACE: Dog Man and IODDAOS
davetallman at msn.com
Wed Apr 30 22:34:17 PDT 2008
I just read "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories" and I'd like
to use the symbol of the dog-man there to help interpret the story of
Charles Turner and Doris.
In IODDAOS, Bruno helps Ransom because "you smell good" (and Dr. Death
presumably smells evil). In the outer story, Tackman plays the role of
both Bruno and Ransom. He senses that Dr. Black is doing harm to his
mother and he goes for help. The police seem to believe that Dr. Black
is innocent, but I trust Tackman's instincts. I suspect that Jason the
drug pusher is either working for Black or helps him inadvertently by
becoming his fall guy. Jason plays the role of one of Dr. Death's
minions, probably the bull-man.
According to Dr. Death, "Ransom and I are a bit like wrestlers. Under
various guises we put on our show again and again -- but only under the
spotlight." That is, the battle of good vs. evil is played out over and
over. I don't trust Dr. Death when he compares it to a fake performance
(the Devil lies). As Tackie found out, evil was real in his world.
If Charles Turner the dog man is the same kind of character as Bruno,
his story of Doris was asking for Weer for help against an evil that he
"smelled." He is a "Turner," giving Weer a chance to turn his life
around. There doesn't have to be a family connection between Weer and
Doris. It seems that for once in his life Weer was willing to help
another person. If Weer sent the "fairy godmother" then that's to his
credit, even if it backfired. When Scrooge sent the turkey to the
Cratchitts on Christmas day, he would have been a better person for
trying even if the turkey had been stolen on the way. Doris could be
this book's unfortunate version of Tiny Tim.
This one act of charity, failed though it was, provides a ray of hope
for Weer. However, the failure may have discouraged him from future
charity. He has given up on helping the carnival: "It had struck me that
these were pictures of dead people."
More observations from IODDAOS:
1) Dr. Death says he will enhance the hero's sense of smell. It was the
Fall of Man that gave knowledge of good and evil.
2) Dr. Moreau = "The Moor" in French = "The Black Man"
3) A bull-man is a Minotaur. In Greek myth Theseus, who defeated the
Minotaur, is linked to Jason through Medea.
4) Dr. Death has shiny black hair. Dr, Black has a shiny waxed car.
5) Aunt Julie wears a fish-headed costume with a shiny silver dress. Her
corresponding character in the inner story might be Golo, which sounds
like Gollum, the LOTR monster who was always eating fish. Aunt Julie is
helping Dr. Black get close to Tackman's mother so her brother will not
have to keep paying alimony.
6) Dr. Death has red-tipped cigarettes with golden dragons on the paper.
The party decorations are red and gold paper masks made by Aunt Julie.
7) The "Other Stories" of the title are all other stories of good vs.
evil, including our own (since Jackie is "you").
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