Hello everyone Puppeteer King here,
I thought that I would make a blog on the symbolism of the tiger and the dragon and how they are represented by our two main characters. I have a fondness towards symbolism and I thought I would redirect myself from the standard disney symbolism because it is too easy and obvious.
What is the tiger and the dragon?
These two creatures represent balance in the yin yang philosophy and the two creatures are also symbols within the budhist and taoist faith, despite how different these two creatures are they are linked together through destiny. They represent how martial artists act in combat but they can also represent how non-violent people react to certain situations and how they solve problems.
The tiger is someone who prefers to bulldoze through their problems and allows their decisions to be based on emotions (such as allowing a grudge to mould their decisions or refusing to do something out of morals). Tigers are also people who are often passionate, driven, enthusiastic, thrill seeking, etc. However Tigers can be reckless and often act out of instinct rather than logic
The dragon is someone who prefers to follow the logical route to solve their problems and allow their decisions to be based on logical options and they are willing to accept mistakes and are willing to learn. Dragons are also people that are wise, tempered, patient, humble, plucky, cultured, etc. However dragons can be distant from people and overly cautious.
Who represents which animal?
Judging by the episodes we've all seen and judging by the criteria of the two creatures. I can say that Marco represents the dragon whereas Star represents the tiger. I'll explain my points and evidence in the next two sectors.
Star as the tiger
Star obviously represents the tiger because of her magic. Star's magic is effected by emotions which is shown when Star's magic turns green and explosive when she is feeling envious, angry or other negative emotions. Character-wise she represents the tiger because she allows her emotions to effect her decisions, there are 3 prominant examples of Star's emotions emotions effecting her decisions.
In the episode "Lobster Claws" Star refused to help the titular character because she believed that the monsters were naturally evil and irredeemable and thus incapable of being good but only discovers that Lobster Claws can be good after he takes the wand from her and momentarily switches from a demonic form to a good form.
In the episode "Blood Moon Ball" Star was furious with Marco after he had secretly gatecrashed the ball so that he can check on her. Star was furious because she believed that Marco was trying to save her from Tom despite Marco being justifyingly anxious because of Tom's history with anger issues and being possessive with Star but she refused to listen to him because she thought that Marco was trying to be her saviour rather than her friend.
The final example comes from the love triangle between her, Marco and Jackie. Star tried to bury her feelings towards Marco because she didn't want to ruin their friendship as well as Marco's relationship with Jackie.
(This is one of the weaker examples because it is a complicated situation and it's a situation that I have also been through and understand but I am not going to delve into it too much. Star still thought with her emotions).
Star is also the most reckless between her and Marco and most of the episodes problems were caused by Star recklessly using her wand without thinking through her decisions.
Marco as the dragon
Marco represents the dragon because he is the most logical and rational between him and Star which is shown through his fighting style. Marco uses his karate skills to defeat his opponents and is usually the one who has to rationally explain situations and answers to Star. Other examples of how Marco represents the dragon are shown in three episodes.
In the episode "The Bounce Lounge" Marco tried to explain multiple times to Star and Pony Head that they should accept the fact that the bounce lounge is closing because it will preserve their nostalgia but they refused to listen to him and valliently tried to save it.
In the episode "Starstitting" Marco insisted that he and Star should raise the tadpoles by following Buff Frogs instructions and is aggravated when Star insisted that the tadpoles should have fun while they are in their care. When things got out of their control Maco was the one who insisted that they call Buff Frog for assistance but Star refused to listen and believed that they could still handle the situation.
The final example comes from the episode "Storm the Castle", Star and Marco have an arguement because Marco thought that Star was being reckless when Star tried to grab a sandwich from inside of a monster despite the dangers of the situation that they were in. Star was angry with Marco because he had damaged the sandwich in their escape.
Marco was also overly cautious which was shown in the first season.
The tiger and the dragon are about balance despite how different these two creatures appear. Both these creatures have their pro's and con's. While the dragon is meant to be the creature that martial artists should aspire to be, the dragon shares the same amount of flaws that the tiger has. Both Star and Marco have this dynamic and it is how they are able to work off of each other so well.
What are your thoughts on this? Which creature do you think is the most like you?, do you see yourself as a tiger or as a dragon?.