Themes and message

Loss of innocence

Loss of innocence is one of the themes present in Dean Koontz’s short story “Kittens”. At first, Marnie seems to be a usual child, who gets bored easily, enjoys Christmas, and likes kittens. However, there are also hints that Marnie is unusually cruel. Also, we notice the relationship between Marnie and her father, and realize Marnie is living in fear, both of her father and of the possibility of losing the kittens.

The drowning of the kittens changes her. She is still a child and cannot understand what happened and why (p. 425, l. 14). In this way, the death of the kittens is symbolic of her own loss of innocence. This is especially true since her father, an authority figure whom she trusts, is the one who drowns them. Also, the drowning of the kittens leads her to question God (exactly what her father told her...

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