39 pages 1 hour read

Ruth Stiles Gannett

My Father's Dragon

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1948

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Important Quotes

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“That surprised the cat—she had never before met anyone who cared about old alley cats […].”

(Chapter 1, Page 1)

Elmer’s kindness toward the cold, wet cat reveals his empathy, which plays an important role in his decision to rescue the dragon, who is also suffering. The cat’s surprise illustrates the novel’s magical element, and Gannett’s anthropomorphism of animals: The cat has human emotions and the ability to talk.

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“This made my father very sad, and he apologized to the cat because his mother had been so rude.”

(Chapter 1, Page 3)

Elmer’s response to his mother’s discourtesy shows how important justice, fairness, and respect are to Elmer. He views the cat as an individual worthy of respect. Elmer has a strong sense of right and wrong.

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“When I grow up I’m going to have an airplane. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to fly just anywhere you might think of!”

(Chapter 1, Page 3)

Sharing his dreams of flying with the cat sets Elmer’s quest in motion. Elmer’s longing to explore the world shows his eagerness for adventure, as well as his confidence and optimism. These are all traits that the cat knows will be needed to rescue the dragon. Elmer’s language is childlike, with short, simple sentences and exclamations.