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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Dog vs. Cat: The presence of good and evil in Silent Hill

Missing since: 20 Mar 2007
Notes left: 22
After reading countless threads and information sites about all four SIlent Hill games, I've noticed that three specific animals are seen throughout the series, two of which we will be exploring in this thread. The animals are: Butterflies, dogs, and cats. Through this exploration of the DOG and CAT symbolism in SH, I hope to give you a new understanding of these seemingly useless things in the games.

[spoiler]PART 1: The appearance of CAT and DOG in the series.
-DOG:
SH1: Groaners/Wormheads, supposedly representing Alessa's fear of large dogs. There is also a poster in Midwich Elementary that says DOG KILL CAT.
SH2: Eddie talks about killing a dog, and enjoying it. Dog ending, seemingly a 'joke' ending put in by Konami. That could change...
SH3: Double Head, may be a reference to Alessa when she was burned and bandaged with her soul split in half. Also, the Barbecued dog in the mall.
SH4: Sniffer Dogs, Walter's fear of dogs after being bitten by one.

-CAT:
SH1: The Locker Cat haunting, possibly a beloved pet left in a students locker.
SH2: The cat is seen with Laura twice (to my knowledge at least). The first time when she is sitting on the wall, and the second time when she is drawing pictures in the foggy glass.
SH3: I am not aware of a cat making any appearance in this game, but I will be applying one of my theories to it anyway.
SH4: The Cat in the fridge haunting.

((Please PM me if there are any appearances of DOG or CAT that I have missed))

PART 2: The symbolism of DOG
SH1: As stated before, DOG appears in SH1 as a product of Alessa's fear of them. In this way, DOG is a product of EVIL. There is also the matter of the poster in the school which reads, DOG KILL CAT. Creepy, isn't it? So, DOG is the result of FEAR and a tool of DEATH, which are usually concepts relating to EVIL.
SH2: This game is probably the most obvious appearance of DOG and CAT. Eddie talks about KILLING a DOG and enjoying it. Eddie finds PLEASURE in DEATH. Killing a DOG brings him satisfaction, brings him closer to his PARADISE. Eddie finds PARADISE through DEATH. Also, consider the DOG ending. I believe it is one of the more difficult endings to achieve, so is it possible that there's a reason for having to beat the game many times to get this ending? Let's consider, DOG backwards is GOD. So, is it possible that DOG is James' GOD, his salvation for the EVIL things he did? The DEATH that he caused? James feels guilty for selfishly killing Mary, and if you were him, wouldn't the image of DOG pulling hte strings make you feel a little better? Perhaps the idea that killing Mary was the act of GOD's will and not his own brings relief? Also note that the DOG licks James' face. A sign of forgiveness for the DEATH that was not of James' doing?
SH3: I believe the dogs in SH3 are there for the same reason as SH1. They are projections of the memories of Alessam changed a little because of the two halves that formed Heather. The barbecued dog, which I believe to be just for creepiness, could possibly represent the fact that EVIL is coming into Heather's life.
SH4: Again, the DOG is presented as an object of FEAR. Walter was bitten by one, and is therefore afraid of them.

PART 3: The symbolism of CAT.
SH1: A LOVED pet, most likely accidently left in the locker by another peer of Alessa's. Why would a child bring a pet to school? Maybe the CAT was wanted for SAFETY or familiarity in a scary place. Let me again reference the DOG KILL CAT poster. Maybe the dog killed the CAT because of Alessa's hatred of her classmates. Alessa hated dogs, but she hated her classmates more. In order to get revenge, she used a tool of fear and death to take away the symbol of another child's LOVE and PROTECTION. Also consider the number NINE appearing on lockers as clues for puzzles. The CAT is believed to have NINE lives.
SH2: The CAT is seen twice, and both times with the same person, Laura. Laura is a child who does not see the world of James, Angela, or Eddie. The first time the CAT is seen with Laura is when Laura is sitting on the wall. There is a drawing of the CAT on the wall. Recall the conversation between James and Laura. "What's a girl like you doing in a place like this?" "Huh, are you blind or something?" Laura says this because she does not see any of the other worlds, Laura is in a child's PARADISE, under the PROTECTION of the CAT. The CAT prevents her from seeing the world of the dog. The second appearance of the CAT is when Laura is drawing a picture of it in the window. The CAT is with Laura always.
SH3: Though CAT does not make any appearance in the game, the prospect of NINE LIVES can be applied to Heather, who is constantly revived by Valtiel, the PROTECTOR of Heather.
SH4: Since the only appearance of CAT in this game is a mere haunting, I don't think it is significant. But, the fact that CAT makes any appearance at all could mean that the PROTECTION of LOVE is still present. Since the cat is a haunting that kills Henry, perhaps it represents that there is no LOVE or PROTECTION in Walter's life, so he disregards the CAT as something unimportant.

PART 4: THe meaning of CAT and DOG and the battle between them.
So, it is apparent now that DOG is the product of a PARADISE brought forth through FEAR and DEATH, the GOD of the cult.
THe CAT is a product of LOVE and PROTECTION, and since Laura sees her own PARADISE through the LOVE of the CAT, maybe the cult was wrong about their belief in a god created through fear and death, and LOVE will create PARADISE.[/spoiler]

Wow, so I totally just spent like three hours researching and writing htis and most of it came off the top of my head. Any thoughts, corrections, theories, and additions you would like to make are encouraged. Please, discuss.[/spoiler]


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 04 Apr 2007
Notes left: 11
Very interesting read; nice work :D . Also, though, about the cat in the locker, (though I could be wrong) I think I remember the sound of the cat being killed after in ran away; that could relate back to the DOG KILL CAT poster. Other than that (which I could be mistaken about) I really enjoyed it.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 27 Mar 2007
Notes left: 118
Agreed; interesting read. I don't really have much to comment on, as I've only played SH3 and SH4 within the last few months, thus, my memory is foggy on the first two games. I remember reading somewhere, though, that cats are seen as a unity of the physical and spiritual world. They're also seen as companions or guides to humans; all-knowing, but silent.

I don't have much to add other than that, but keep up the good work, I'm interested in hearing more responses.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 24 Apr 2006
Notes left: 110
I am totally intrigued by your theory. Good work on the research and stuff- I'll have to bring this up with my friends. :D

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 20 Mar 2007
Notes left: 22
Haha, thanks for the commetns. It's the first theory that I've actually thickened out and posted, so expect some more cracked out stuff pretty soon.

Quote:
Agreed; interesting read. I don't really have much to comment on, as I've only played SH3 and SH4 within the last few months, thus, my memory is foggy on the first two games.


Haha, don't worry about that Ridyu. I haven't beaten any of the games. I only own 2 and 4, so you probably know more than I do. =)


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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 16 Jul 2006
Notes left: 531
I've been wondering what's with all the dogs in Silent Hill ever since i watched this video on youtube a week or two ago: (a HUGE Silent Hill 2 spoiler)

[spoiler]James "pillowfights" Mary
Now does she not sound like a dog being put down? And don't forget her maiden name is Shepherd. Weird, huh? Maybe it's just a macabre way of showing how similar James and Eddie are? Or maybe James is worse becouse kills a human being like she was just a dog? :?:
[/spoiler]

This seems like an interesting topic, i'll have to read more closely when my brain stops hurting.

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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 03 Feb 2007
Notes left: 519
Last seen at: Funky town! :O
I seem to remember a cat figure being in the gift shop in SH3. >_>;
Your theory seems to be one of the multitudes of much to do about nothing ones that abound with SH. <_<

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nightmarish delusions come to life.
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Moderator
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
Notes left: 11052
Last seen at: In the anals of forum history
Great job on the research, but honestly, cats are extremely common animals and therefore their symbolic value is pretty questionable within the boundaries of Silent Hill. Not so with the dogs as they are somewhat iconic in the series, like roaches and nurses.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 27 Mar 2007
Notes left: 118
Squarehead wrote:
I've been wondering what's with all the dogs in Silent Hill ever since i watched this video on youtube a week or two ago: (a HUGE Silent Hill 2 spoiler)

[spoiler]James "pillowfights" Mary
Now does she not sound like a dog being put down? And don't forget her maiden name is Shepherd. Weird, huh? Maybe it's just a macabre way of showing how similar James and Eddie are? Or maybe James is worse becouse kills a human being like she was just a dog? :?:
[/spoiler]

This seems like an interesting topic, i'll have to read more closely when my brain stops hurting.


It just sounds like her muffled voice to me. It could pass off as a dog whimpering, if you really wanted it to though. Suggestive thinking, kind of like how you can hear a ghost EVP audio recording, where someone hears the ghost saying, "Help me!".

...and then Bob will hear, "Fluffy!", and then everyone will go, "Oh yeah!" and dismiss the distress call, thus leaving Casper to wallow in despair, knowing his dad left him out in the cold to catch pneumonia.

...oops.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 10 May 2006
Notes left: 4658
Last seen at: My Slinky! My cuddly little pet Slinky! *sobs*
Even though I can agree with the last naysayers, it's definately a good, well thought out theory, and one that hasn't gone unnoticed by others in the past.

There's not really much to discuss- you put it all quite succinctly. Well done!

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