The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

by

Kate DiCamillo

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The Tale of Despereaux: Chapter 32 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Finally, Mig’s candle reveals Gregory walking toward her, with a big rope tied around his ankle. He takes the tray and sits on an overturned kettle. Studying his meal, he asks if there’s no soup again. He has to shout for Mig to hear, and Mig shouts back that soup is illegal. Gregory grouses that that’s foolish as he eats a drumstick, bones and all. This deeply impresses Mig, who says Gregory is ferocious. Suddenly, she decides to tell Gregory her deepest wish and says she will be a princess one day. Roscuro is elated when he hears this—he dances a happy dance, and the candle casts a terrifying shadow as he does. Gregory tells Roscuro he can see him, so Roscuro hurries to Mig’s skirts and hides.
Gregory alone seems willing to say that King Phillip was being ridiculous when he outlawed soup. But he may feel safe doing this because his job and his life can’t get much worse—he's a prisoner, after all. That Gregory seems so self-assured and unafraid makes Mig believe that he’s trustworthy, offering hope that Mig might be able to connect with one kind person in the castle. Roscuro’s shadow happy dance makes the novel’s point again: that darkness, like a shadow, only exists because the light creates it. It’s essential to have both darkness and light to make life interesting.
Themes
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Gregory says that everyone has a “foolish dream”: he dreams of soup, and Roscuro no doubt dreams of something silly. Roscuro whispers a response, and Mig shouts, “What?” Gregory doesn’t respond. Instead, he picks up his napkin and sneezes into it three times. He balls it up, puts it on the tray, and gives the tray back to Mig. Mig says she must now take the tray back upstairs to Cook and repeats all her instructions to Gregory. Gregory asks if Cook warned her to beware of the rats. Cook didn’t, so Gregory tells Mig to beware. Hidden in Mig’s skirts, Roscuro says Gregory can warn Mig all he wants. But the time has come: Gregory’s rope is going to be chewed in two, and Roscuro is going to get revenge.
Gregory doesn’t elaborate, but he seems to suggest that a person’s “foolish dream” doesn’t actually matter. This counteracts what the narrator suggested earlier, that Mig’s dream of becoming a princess, for instance, made her happy and so was a net positive. Things then take a turn toward the sinister as readers hear Gregory warn Mig about the rats—when Mig has no idea that Roscuro is planning to use her and manipulate her. That Roscuro also plans to essentially kill Gregory highlights how tenuous Gregory’s truce was with the rats up to this point.
Themes
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon