Allusions to Vampires in “Mang Minno”
In “Mang Minno”, a short story within ‘Where The Elephants Dance’ by Tess U Holthe , a young boy named Roman encounters a man named Mang Minno, who is believed by the island people to be Jonah from the Bible. When Roman meets him, he wishes to learn how to catch fish, so that he can show them to his father. He thinks that all he is getting himself involved in is a method with which to gain large amounts of fish, very quickly. However, he soon finds that he is getting involved in something far more sinister. As the story progresses, it becomes clear the Mang Minno is some sort of evil entity. However, without looking for clues as to who and what Mang Minno is, this story cannot be fully comprehended. In this short story, the antagonist, Mang Minno, displays similarities to vampires, and these similarities are important in clarifying different pieces of the story.
The first information revealed about Mang Minno in the book is through rumors that are about him. One such rumor is: “that he worshiped the devil” (74). While this by itself does not really suggest that he is a devil, it does indicate that he is evil. Another rumor is: “He had bargained his soul in exchange for money for his family” (74). This possible lack of a soul is very similar to vampires, who are also commonly described as soulless. These rumors, while not conclusive, provide evidence to build upon the case that Mang Minno might be a vampire. In Roman’s first actual meeting of Mang Minno, Mang immediately gives subtle clues as to what he is. When he talks about meeting with Roman again, he says: “Begin at the edge of the forest where the rays of the sun do not touch the ground, then call out my name” (77). This is suspicious because vampires are sunlight averse. It is also one of the most straightforward clues to Mang Minno being a vampire. Another hint about Mang Minno’s true identity is what he wears on his necklace: “It was a fishbone,...
Cited: Holthe, Tess U. When The Elephants Dance. New York: Penguin Group, 2003
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