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Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman

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As the truth unveils towards the end of the novel, Calum’s evil nature becomes evident to the reader and the dwarf. Calum exasperates by saying that he would not kill a woman to steal cattle. However, the happenings in the narration indicate that he indeed went against his own assertions and greatly contributed to the death of the woman, Flora. He subjects her to undue suffering by tying her to a thorny tree and pushing a blade into the turf. “I tied her to the thorn tree by her long hair, and I thought no more of her as I made off with her cattle” (Gaiman N. p).

He believed that nobody would search for her and will eventually die. It is only after this ingenuous concession that the audience and the dwarf come to the comprehension that Calum murdered Flora, the dwarf’s daughter. Calum’s evil is only portrayed by the truth he reveals to the dwarf, but if he had lied it would not carry the same magnitude of evil actions as it does. Evil is revealed upon the realization that the Black Mountains hosts what can only be equated to a curse that exists in the characters’ minds.

If the Black Mountains had any treasures, it becomes clear that the treasures could only be gained at a cost which in extreme cases involved losing one’s life. The ghostly figure that speaks to the dwarf is, apparently, the skull of her daughter. The dwarf claims that the form that the skull appears to him offends him only for the skull to respond, “I took it from your mind …I chose something you loved.

This was your daughter, Flora, as she was the last time you saw her” (Gaiman N. p). This implicates that the dwarf actually hated her daughter, a fact that contravenes his initial assertions her daughter errorred by running away from home. He had promised himself to forgive everybody but the fact that her daughter’s skull offends him is a strong suggestion that he had not pardoned himself or her daughter, an indication of evil. Evil is also portrayed in the dwarf when he tries to tell the Calum about the reason why he was being pursued.

“Why were the Campbells after you? ” “It was a disagreement about the ownership of cattle. They thought the cows were theirs…” (Gaiman N. p). The dwarf in this instance did not confess to the truth of what transpired to the end of the story and, therefore, there is no evidence of evil. This leads to the young Calum to see the dwarf as a righteous man incapable of evil, but the boy’s father is prudent. Later upon a confession of the topic by the dwarf it is evident that he committed evil by murdering a dozen Campbells sent for his life.

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preview essay on Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Literature
  • Level: Masters
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