Study Guide

In The Woods What's Up With the Epigraph?

By Tana French

What's Up With the Epigraph?

"Probably just somebody's nasty black poodle. But I've always wondered… What if it really was Him, and He decided I wasn't worth it?"—Tony Kushner, A Bright Room Called Day

This is a quote from a play by Tony Kushner (better known for Angels in America). In this scene, a character is talking about a scene from Faust, where the Devil transforms into a black poodle. Eek.

The character talks about how, one night she saw a black poodle and thought, maybe this is it. This is when the Devil will talk to me! But of course, it was just a dog. Or was it? As she says in the epigraph, maybe it really was Satan, but the Devil didn't want to make a deal with her.

This is a special level of pity party that only choice individuals ever RSVP to. In one scene of In the Woods, Rob wonders why he didn't get murdered. Was there something wrong with him? Is he just too much of a loser to even get murdered? Like the character in Kushner's play, Rob laments the idea that evil's skipped him over. Odd ducks, the both of them.