The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

by

Kate DiCamillo

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The Tale of Despereaux: Chapter 22 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As Roscuro scuttles out of the banquet hall, he tells himself that he’s a rat, and that there’s no light for rats—there’s no light for him. Suddenly, Roscuro reaches the queen’s soup spoon. He says aloud that he might be a rat, but he’ll have a beautiful crown of his own. At this, he picks up the spoon and puts it on his head. Then, he says he’ll also get revenge someday.
It seems like all Roscuro wants is some beauty in his life; this is, perhaps, why he steals the soup spoon. And his desire for revenge suggests that he blames the Princess Pea and her scathing look for his broken heart, setting up a battle between light and good (the Pea) and darkness and evil (Roscuro).
Themes
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
The narrator notes that some hearts never heal when they’re broken. Or if they do, they heal “in a crooked and lopsided way.” This is what happens to Chiaroscuro. Taking the spoon and deciding to get revenge helps Roscuro put his heart back together, but these actions cause it to heal incorrectly. As King Phillip shouts for his men to find the rat, Roscuro mutters that he’ll be in the dark dungeon.
Interestingly, the narrator implies that Roscuro’s heart—even though it wasn’t a normal rat heart—was whole and perfectly fine before it broke, when he innocently just wanted light in his life. Now that his heart has been broken, he’s turned toward evil and suffering, which the narrator frames as a sign of his pain.
Themes
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon