The highly successful visual novel game Doki Doki Literature Club!, developed by team Salvato, is known for it’s rich dialogue and eccentric story. However, it’s also known as the game that made reading poems very enjoyable. We’ve decided to look deeper into the meaning behind each poem made by the characters Sayori, Yuri, Natsuki and Monika (Just Monika!) in order to understand their characters more deeply and to discover truths about life they might be trying to teach us.
Keep in mind that this is only our opinion. Feel free to disagree and to correct us if we’re wrong!
There might be some disturbing depictions that some people will find aversive, you’ve been warned.
- ” It happened in the dead of night while I was slicing bread for a guilty snack.
My attention was caught by the scuttering of a raccoon outside my window.
That was, I believe, the first time I noticed my strange tendencies as an unusual
I gave the raccoon a piece of bread, my subconscious well aware of the consequences.
Well aware that a raccoon that is fed will always come back for more.
The enticing beauty of my cutting knife was the symptom.
The bread, my hungry curiosity.
The raccoon, an urge.
The moon increments its phase and reflects that much more light off of my cutting
The very same light that glistens in the eyes of my raccoon friend.
I slice the bread, fresh and soft. The raccoon becomes excited.
or perhaps I’m merely projecting my emotions onto the newly-satisfied animal.
The raccoon has taken to following me.
You could say that we’ve gotten quite used to each other.
The raccoon becomes hungry more and more frequently, so my bread is always handy.
Every time I brandish my cutting knife the raccoon shows me its excitement.
A rush of blood. Classic Pavlovian conditioning. I slice the bread.
And I feed myself again. “
Before reading our analysis, you can click here to see Yuri’s wiki page and learn more about her story or just to refresh your memory.
Analysis Of Yuri’s Poem
A lot of players suspected the poem to be a reference to Yuri’s cuting habits. Her fixation on the knife reflects this, while the raccoon is the desire to self-harm.
Classic Pavlovian conditioning refers to classical conditioning, developed by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, where an organism is taught through a procedure in which a biologically potent stimulus (like food or a predator) is paired with a previously neutral stimulus (like a plate or fur).
For example, the raccoon salivates when it notices the bread being sliced (the bread being a biologically potent stimulus). Since the raccoon is conditioned to believe that whenever Yuri takes out her knife, she’ll be cutting bread, the raccoon salivates by merely seeing the knife.
The raccoon is likely a metaphor for Yuri’s desires:
“The enticing beauty of my cutting knife was the symptom.
The bread, my hungry curiosity.
The raccoon, an urge.”
A raccoon, like a bad habit, will never stop coming back for more as long as you keep feeding it.
A Literal Interpretation
The literal interpretation of the poem is pretty straightforward. Yuri taunts the animal with the bread, only to feed herself in the end. Taking the following line of the poem into account:
“That was, I believe, the first time I noticed my strange tendencies as an unusual
Yuri is suggesting this to be the first moment she began to realize her “uniqueness.” Instead of being an indirect way for Yuri to express her cutting habit to the protaganist, the poem could instead be an “origin story” of her first “dark” deed.
This poem shows that Yuri has attempted to open up even further to the protagonist. The dark deed in this poem is hidden up until the very last line, so it appears that Yuri was trying to feed the raccoon instead of taunting it.
This leads the reader to think of Yuri as a kind-hearted individual that loves animals and is willing to deal with the problems that can come with it,“well aware that a raccoon that is fed will always come back for more.” It is as if she is warning the protagonist that Yuri isn’t who she might appear to be, that a darker side of her hides in the shadows, coming out only in subtle ways.
The darkest element to the poem is the indirect reference to her self-harm. She describes the process of cutting herself metaphorically, and yet it sounds like a good thing until the very end.
In some ways, she could be seen as tricking the reader into thinking the cutting is a good thing. In other ways, it might reveal how Yuri feels when the self-harm occurs: seemingly good, until the very end, where it isn’t.