Hello, dearest readers! Today, I will be sharing my thoughts on The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo, with you.
As an English major, an aspiring author, and a constant reader, it’s no surprise that I am enchanted with books that celebrate the beauty of stories. But no one needs to be any of these things to fall in love with The Tale of Despereaux. Kate DiCamillo writes of hope in dark places, of light conquering darkness, of courage and love and forgiveness. She writes, and she reminds us of our souls.
Despereaux, an undersized mouse and a hopeless romantic, reads the story of a knight in shining armor, and delights in the bravery and goodness that the character radiates from the pages. In identifying with the knight, Despereaux becomes the knight. An unexceptional little mouse becomes heroic and bold and good, simply because he has read a story about someone who is all those things. And even though Despereaux’s knight is totally fictional, he comes alive through the little mouse who admires and molds himself after his favorite fairytale hero.
This is what stories offer us. When our worlds are dark and small, they give us the gift of hope. We hear of unheard bravery, of divine goodness and impossible heroism that all serve to awaken some long lost truth within ourselves. We are called to the light. And through this hope, this desire to become better and more beautiful, we achieve that which was once impossible. We forgive, we love, we grow, because we believe we can. We believe we can be like the heroes that we heard of when we were small. And as we believe, we become.
I firmly believe that stories save people. They give us hope, they mold us, shape us into better people. We all become tender creatures at the touch of the beauty, we all become stronger creatures when we learn to follow the light within us. This book perfectly demonstrated the power of literature. It made me remember why I loved reading in the first place.