Study Guide

The White Stag

by Kate Seredy

The White Stag Summary

Overview

The White Stag is a mythic account of the founding of the Hungarian nation. Based on the stories and legends told to her by her father, Seredy tells the story of the early migration of the Hun and Magyar tribes from the steppes of Central Asia, across the Carpathian Mountains, and into the Danube Plains. Her narrative incorporates biblical echoes of a chosen people; divine prophecy of a Promised Land; strong, capable leaders; and three generations of wandering before the Huns reach the Danube Plain. As Seredy explains in her foreword, she wanted to offer an alternative to the cold, factual accounts of early Hungarian history by recasting the historical information in a more imaginative form. In particular, she wished to reaffirm the origins of the Hungarian or Magyar race as stemming from the Huns of fourth-century Asia.

In The White Stag, Seredy imagines herself as a little girl returning with her father to the "great, neglected park of old Hun-Magyar legends," with its crumbling monuments to the pagan gods. She wanders through the countryside in pursuit of The White Stag, gazing at the moon maidens, admiring the tomb of Nimrod the Hunter and the altar of the pagan god Hadur, as she pays tribute to her heroic ancestors. She acknowledges her love of these old Hungarian legends and frankly admits that her account shuns the factual and appeals instead to the reader's enjoyment of fantasy and romance. Her own lovely, stylized...

(The entire section is 275 words.)