Evil Lies Deep Within: Analysis of "The Child by Tiger" by Thomas Wolfe

960 Words Mar 20th, 2008 4 Pages
Every day people are often seen committing good, kind, and helpful acts while others are found committing acts of evil. One doesn't think, though, of the possibility that those who often do good would rash out in evil acts for no apparent reason at all. It is human nature to simply go along in every day life, knowing right from wrong, knowing the results and consequences of certain acts, and assuming anyone with a different idea is insane. In The Child by Tiger by Thomas Wolfe, a lesson about man's darker side is taught through explorations of imagery, death, and human behavior. By means of these explorations, the reader can then see how humans are capable of losing touch with reality, taking light of killing, and releasing the evil …show more content…
This story is set in an era when people believed that race determined the moral character of each person. Simply because Prosser was black, the townspeople didn't consider the possibility of him having any reasons for his actions or that his life mattered any anyway, so they just killed him without hesitation and without regard. Not that he wasn't at fault for the massacre he committed, but it is true that the coldness of one man will diminish the warmth of another. Perhaps the cold-hearted human behavior of the townspeople and the sinful nature of mankind drove Dick Prosser to his transformation to evil without limits or cause and to his death. Probably the only being that does not contain some part of evil is God. The rest of us are prone to fall victim to our darker side, some more easily than others. In Thomas Wolfe's The Child by Tiger, the reader is taught a lesson about man's darker side and the transformation from good to evil through exploring imagery, death, and human behavior. The author leaves us to use our imagination and intuition to conclude the reasons for murder. It may be that we must maintain a pleasing life in order to keep our beasts locked up and prevented from unleashing the evil that lies deep within.


Wolfe, Thomas. "The Child by Tiger". Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. Ninth

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