Old Yeller


Old Yeller

Old Yeller—Old Yeller is an extraordinarily brave, loyal and friendly dog. He is at first believed by Travis to be nothing more than a stray troublemaker. At the first sign of danger, however, the dog shows his mettle by bravely defending the family. Old Yeller may not look like much on the outside, but his heart is strong and true.

The dog is also incredibly clever. He knows how to fake as though he has been beaten in order to draw sympathy. He can steal food better than any fox. Furthermore, he knows just how to gain the upper hand on many of the more stubborn animals around the farm.

Yeller is invaluable to Travis, however, because he gives the boy the support he needs to fill the big shoes left by Papa. Without Yeller’s help, Travis is unable to save the corn from varmints; he is unable to save Arliss; he is unable to save Mama and Lisbeth; and he is unable to save himself. Yeller is, in a sense, a Christ symbol. His primary genius is in saving the lives of those around him, and there is no limit to which he is willing to go in order to fulfill his mission. Indeed, Yeller’s final act is an act of selflessness and bespeaks a superior nature in the dog.

Sign up to continue reading Old Yeller >

Essays About Old Yeller