The Pale Man is a child-eating monster.
Why should we be so scared of this Pale Man? Before breaking down to eat that grape, Ofelia admires the murals on the wall around the lair. At first it seems like there are pictures of cute fairy tales on the wall. But look closer and you see that there are many diagrams of this man eating children whole. It is afterall his meal of preference. While our Ofelia escapes, one of the fairies sent along with her to help her in her quest is eaten whole by this monster.
The Pale Man’s lair is littered with small references to that of child sacrifice and consumption similar to that of Cronus. There pile of children’s shoes and the pictures within the lair serve as direct representation of this and is furthered by the depiction of the actions that the Pale Man carries out (Spector). The placement of the dungeon also draws similarities to Cronus as well. In Greek mythology, after Zeus escaped from his father and took power, he banished Cronus to the darkness of the worst place in the underworld, Tartarus. It is of no surprise then that the lair of the Pale Man is reached by entering an underground location very similar to that of the Greek underworld (Spector). Obviously, however, the greatest comparison is in the way in which the Pale Man catches and eats Ofelia’s fair guides. If she had not been able to escape the dungeon and pursuit of the Pale Man, he clearly would have had no second thought to consume her as well.
Despite the coolness of my reception, I have been frequently venturing abroad. In the back of my mind I have cherished hopes that I might encounter the pale man in No. 211. Incidentally, I wonder why he has moved from No. 212. There is certainly little advantage in coming only one room nearer to the front. I noticed the change yesterday when I saw him coming out of his new room.The pale man must be difficult to please, for he has again changed his room. I am baffled by his conduct. If he is so desirous of locating himself more conveniently in the hotel, why does he not move to No. 202, which is the nearest available room to the front?I wonder where the pale man takes his meals. I have been absenting myself from the hotel restaurant and patronizing the restaurants outside. At each I have ventured inquiries about the man in No. 210. No one at any restaurant remembered his having been there. Perhaps he has entrée into the Brahmin homes of this town. And again, he may have found a boarding-house. I shall have to learn if there be one.I wonder what the pale man will do. I await his decision with the nervous excitement of a devotee of the track on the eve of a big race. After all, I have so little diversion.I am tremendously interested in the pale man’s next move. He must either skip a room or remain where he is, for a permanent guest, a very old lady, occupies No. 208. She has not budged-from her room since I have been here, and I imagine that she does not intend to.I have been so preoccupied about the sudden turn of my own affairs that I have neglected to make note of a most extraordinary incident. The pale man has done an astounding thing. He has skipped three rooms and moved all the way to No. 203. We are now very close neighbors. We shall meet oftener, and my chances for making his acquaintance are now greater.Well, the mysterious guest was not forced to remain where he was, nor did he have to skip a room. The lady in No. 208 simplified matters by conveniently dying. No one knows the cause of her death, but it is generally attributed to old age. She was buried this morning. I was among the curious few who attended her funeral. When I returned home from the mortuary, I was in time to see the pale man leaving her room. Already he has moved in.Despite the coolness of my reception, I have been frequently venturing abroad. In the back of my mind I have cherished hopes that I might encounter the pale man in No. 211. Incidentally, I wonder why he has moved from No. 212. There is certainly little advantage in coming only one room nearer to the front. I noticed the change yesterday when I saw him coming out of his new room.