by Laurence Yep
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
In this book, dragons bring people together. Moon Shadow is immediately keen on Miss Whitlaw when he sees her fabulous stained glass window of a dragon. He bonds with the Whitlaws over the dragon stories he tells, showing them that not all dragons are evil, like the one in the St. George tale. Hey, that sounds kind of familiar – you know, the thing about not just generalizing that one group is all bad or all the same. Just like how the dragons are not all the same or all evil, not all Tang people are the same, and not all white Americans are the same. Dragons also serve the function of blurring the idea of reality. After all, why can't we believe in the dragon within everyone? Yep leaves it ambiguous whether or not Windrider really did speak with the Dragon King; it's up to us readers to consider. But, as Uncle Bright Star learns, what's the harm in believing in someone, in taking them at their word? Dragons remind us that a little faith goes a long way.