The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

by

Kate DiCamillo

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Tale of Despereaux can help.

Furlough Tilling Character Analysis

Furlough is one of Despereaux’s older brothers. Like his father, Lester, Furlough is very interested in following the rules that guide mouse behavior. When Despereaux is little, this leads to Furlough going out of his way to teach Despereaux to scurry properly. But later, this takes a sinister turn when Furlough sees Despereaux allowing the Princess Pea to touch him—and alerts their father to this crime. Furlough is one of the hooded mouse guards who escort Despereaux to the dungeon. He refuses to protect his brother from certain death, and he’s the one to shove Despereaux down the dungeon stairs.

Furlough Tilling Quotes in The Tale of Despereaux

The The Tale of Despereaux quotes below are all either spoken by Furlough Tilling or refer to Furlough Tilling. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
).
Chapter 3 Quotes

He was staring at the light pouring in through the stained-glass windows of the castle. He stood on his hind legs and held his handkerchief over his heart and stared up, up, up into the brilliant light.

“Furlough,” he said, “what is this thing? What are all these colors? Are we in heaven?”

“Cripes!” shouted Furlough from a far corner. “Don’t stand there in the middle of the floor talking about heaven. Move! You’re a mouse, not a man. You’ve got to scurry.”

“What?” said Despereaux, still staring at the light.

Related Characters: Despereaux Tilling (speaker), Furlough Tilling (speaker)
Related Symbols: Light and Dark
Page Number: 20-21
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

“Did you break them?”

“Yes, sir,” said Despereaux. He raised his voice. “But…I broke the rules for good reasons. Because of music. And because of love.”

“Love!” said the Head Mouse.

“Oh cripes,” said Furlough. “Here we go.”

“I love her, sir,” said Despereaux.

“We are not here to talk about love. This trial is not about love. This trial is about you being a mouse,” shouted the Most Very Honored Head Mouse from high atop the bricks, “and not acting like one!!!”

Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 35 Quotes

He dreamt of the stained-glass windows and the dark of the dungeon. In Despereaux’s dream, the light came to life, brilliant and glorious, in the shape of a knight swinging a sword. The knight fought the dark.

And the dark took many shapes. First the dark was his mother, uttering phrases in French. And then the dark became his father beating the drum. The dark was Furlough wearing a black hood and shaking his head no. And the dark became a huge rat smiling a smile that was evil and sharp.

Page Number: 181
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Tale of Despereaux LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Tale of Despereaux PDF

Furlough Tilling Character Timeline in The Tale of Despereaux

The timeline below shows where the character Furlough Tilling appears in The Tale of Despereaux. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...new brother. Merlot, a sister, says his ears are too big, and a brother named Furlough says that Despereaux’s eyes are open when they shouldn’t be. This, the narrator says, is... (full context)
Chapter 3
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Furlough tries to teach Despereaux “the art of scurrying.” He demonstrates how a mouse should move... (full context)
Chapter 5
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...ridiculous. It’s also wonderful and powerful. The Princess Pea tells Despereaux he’s sweet, just as Furlough scurries past the princess’s room. He sees Despereaux sitting at the king’s feet and the... (full context)
Chapter 7
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Furlough misses the worst of Despereaux’s behavior. While the mouse council drumbeat sounds through the castle... (full context)
Chapter 8
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...throne room, and they sit around a makeshift table and listen to Lester detail what Furlough saw. The Mouse Council listens openmouthed as Lester describes Despereaux letting the Princess Pea touch... (full context)
Chapter 9
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
The Mouse Council sends Furlough to fetch Despereaux. Furlough finds Despereaux reading the huge book in the library aloud to... (full context)
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Furlough finally calls for Despereaux. When Despereaux comes out of his trance enough to notice his... (full context)
Chapter 10
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...Council sits on top of three stacked bricks, and they all wait for Despereaux. Finally, Furlough shouts that he has Despereaux. He pushes through the crowd, and a few mice reach... (full context)
Chapter 13
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...of the mice in hoods stamps his foot and says Despereaux doesn’t learn—and Despereaux recognizes Furlough’s voice. Despereaux’s heart shrinks for a moment but then grows as Despereaux starts to hope.... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...Despereaux’s mind as he and the guards stand at the top of the dungeon stairs. Furlough puts a hand over his heart and announces that today, he’s delivering a mouse who... (full context)
Chapter 35
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...the knight, which fights with the dark. The dark takes many forms, including Antoinette, Lester, Furlough, and Roscuro. Despereaux tosses in his sleep, asks the knight who he is, and asks... (full context)
Chapter 52
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...the scene. Antoinette observes that Despereaux looks happy. Lester whispers that he’s been forgiven, and Furlough says it’s unbelievable. But Hovis smiles and says, “just so.” (full context)