When it comes to writing, there is always no patency to themes. Writers can always use the same themes as long and there is originality in the contents. The appearance of the same theme in different stories by different characters is common in stories with animal characters like the ones told by Joseph Bruchac. The similarity in a theme or themes does not necessarily imply that these stories have similar messages, target audience, or intended outcomes. Justice has always emerged as a common theme for stories with animal characters regardless of the writer or time at which the story was written. This paper discusses the portrayal of the theme of justice by different authors in different stories during different times in history.
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In the story “Uncle Remus Initiates the Little Boy” and other stories in Tales of Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris, it becomes evident that the author intended to convey the message that people are always likely to face the consequences of their actions through the characters Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox. Despite the fact that Brer Fox had done all that he could so that he could catch Brer Rabbit, all the efforts were unfruitful because of the intentions that he had and the fact that Brer Rabbit did not hold anything against him and was even willing to work out a truce (Harris 28).
The theme of justice also appears in The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. However, it is notable that the portrayal of the theme of justice is portrayed differently by Potter through bringing in the concept of disobedience. After being pursued by Mr. McGregor, the rabbit learns the lesson of listening to warnings because he had been warned by his mother against entering the vegetable garden that was owned by Mr. McGregor (Potter 13). The differences in the approaches to the theme of justice seem to be constant despite the fact that the presentation is different in the two tales.
“The Cat in the Hat,” an animal tale that was written by Dr. Seuss in 1957, also has the theme that is highlighted in the outcome of the actions by the cats that end up in embarrassment as the demonstration that he intends to treat the children to ends in shame because of the fact that his intentions were sinister (Seuss 17). What can be seen in the story is that things would not have turned out to be messy if the cat had a noble intention. Either way, the differences is that the outcomes are not as severe as the outcome in the other animal stories that have been discussed herein.
Clearly, there is a reason as to why the theme of justice is common on animal tales. As seen in the discussion herein, the theme is always aimed at warning the readers on specific actions by making sure that they know that there are always consequences for any action. Given that the audience for animal tales is always children, it can be said that the theme of justice is aimed at making sure that they grow up into adults who avoid actions that would get them into trouble. Furthermore, it can also be said that this theme is aimed at creating morally upright citizens from children.
- Harris, Joel Chandler. The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1983.
- Potter, Beatrix. The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Vol. 1. Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., 1984.
- Seuss. The Cat in the Hat Comes Back!. Random House Books for Young Readers, 1958.