Why did the Griffin sacrifice himself for the Minor Canon?
In “The Griffin and the Minor Canon” by Frank R. Stockton, the Griffin sacrificed himself for the Minor Canon because he had developed a great liking for the man, and thinks he deserves to live. For example, when the Minor Canon meets the Griffin, the animal says that he is, “glad to see that there is someone who has the courage to see [him].” This shows that the Griffin is developing a liking for the man because no one else in the town is brave enough to face the Griffin. At just the thought of the beast in their little town, all the people hide in fright except for the brave church worker. In addition, when the Minor Canon says that the Griffin won’t be able to see the statue at night, the Griffin tells him that he sees he is, “a man of good sense.” This proves that the Griffin has respect for the Minor Canon and his intelligence. This respect leads to the beginning of a friendship for the two. Furthermore, when the Griffin finds out that the town sent the Minor Canon away, he tells the people that he “appreciated the man and had conceived a great liking for him.” This shows that the Griffin has developed a fondness of the Minor Canon because he is sad that the clergyman was banished from the city. The Griffin proves his newfound liking for the Minor Canon by telling the town that when he returns, they must treat him with the utmost attentiveness and esteem to apologize for their actions toward him. By the end of the story, the Griffin has acquired a great liking for the Minor Canon and gives up his life so that he may be respected by his peers and companions.