Apart from being symbolic of the usual Poesque preoccupation with psychology and abnormality, Hop-Frog had both real and fictional precedents.
22) Through the figure of the dwarf-fool, the narrator satirically contrasts the idea of wisdom and folly through the ministers and Hop-Frog respectively and, in essence, points to the higher contrast between ideality and normative tendencies.
Poe's Hop-Frog is thrice removed from the conventional idea of a human being: "his value was trebled in the eyes of the king by the fact of his being also a dwarf and a cripple.
By denying Hop-Frog this essential element (he is neither in nor out of the human society), Poe points to a greater anthropological truth--Hop-Frog is partly human only to the extent that "other men" are willing to concede.
27) This physiognomic defect almost anticipates Hop-Frog's deformity, and the narrator in a subtle way equates the king with Hop-Frog because both are in a sense "capital figure[s]" to the ministers and other people in the court.
Although in the narrative Hop-Frog and Trippetta are from a distant place and sent as gifts, they still retain their dignity and prestige because it is the king who is dependent on them for diversion and pleasure.
As readers, we might sense something diabolic in Hop-Frog owing to his substitution of strength in arms for his legs, but we can easily overlook the primacy of physiognomic law that governs human beings on earth.
It is the corpulent king and his ministers who love practical jokes and make Hop-Frog the butt of their transports.
Edgar Allan Poe's Hop-Frog Original story by Edgar Allan Poe Adapted by Jerome Tiller Illustrated by Marc Johnson-Pencook ArtWrite Productions artwriteproductions.
Part of the excellent "Adapted Classics" series, Edgar Allan Poe's Hop-Frog adapts a classic short story by celebrated author Edgar Allan Poe to a format ideal for middle grade readers.