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Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Jeremiah de Saint-Amour's dog, who dies loyally alongside her master, is but the first of many animals that we come across in this novel. Other than the birds (we discuss those in a separate category), we also encounter Fermina's zoo, slaughtered by a rabid German mastiff; a lucky tortoise, considered lucky, we presume, because it survived the massacre; and some unfortunate mules who perish along with their riders on a treacherous journey to the country. These beasts are loyal, lucky, violent, vicious, and victimized – but are they really so different than people? What separates the "scoundrel" of a parrot, who speaks several languages and carries on logical conversations with Dr. Urbino, from human beings? Don't humans and animals ultimately share the same fate?

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