The Dark Brown Dog is an allegory, describing a story of a dog who was brought into a home but faced repercussions towards the end. The literal interpretation of this story appeals to the reader by allowing the reader to feel sympathetic to the dog and the child and show anger within the family, especially towards the father. The story can be thought of on a broader perspective in how African American slaves were mistreated although slavery was supposedly abolished. Slaves were still discriminated and seen as inferior because of the Jim crow laws imposed onto colored people. The death of the dog shows the theme of how we treat others as humans in the past, as well as the present in a much modern scale
A dark brown dog, released with a rope tied around its neck approaches and begins to follow the young child. The brown dog, is excited and follows the child, as he feels escaped but still lost and has nowhere to go. The child at first, reacts by hitting him where the dog realizes that he has done nothing wrong and is upset as to what he has done.
Since the dog has nowhere to go, he returns to follow the dog. The child, scared at first, retreats to forces the dog into their family as he finds something valuable in this dog. The dog still wonders what he has done to be treated so unfairly. This can be seen as both a conflict between others, along with an internal struggle. The dog faces a man vs. man stuggle as he is forced into this new home and a man vs. self conflict as he feels depressed because he begins to feel this sense of uselessness and worthless.
The dog was never accepted into the family and always mistreated. As the little child finally accepted him, they grew a closer relationship, trying to protect each other whenever in danger. The family threw objects at the dog whenever the child wasn't present, leaving the dog thinking about what he's done to deserve such harsh treatment. This scene appeals to the readers emotions by the dogs physical appearance and detailed description. The dog was always shown as inferior and useless, but innocent enough to not deserve the harm he was faced with by the family just because he didn't appeal to their standards of a dog.
The major turning point of the short story begins when the father returns home at a drunken state where he knew that he could harm the dog and cause chaos. The father starts throwing pots and pans at the dog, in amusement while the boy hides under a table, knowing how the father acts when he's in this drunken state. The impact of this moment was when the father decides to harm the poor dog because it is explicitly shown that the dog never developed a close relationship to the family, especially the main 'owner' in the house. The dog was never treated fairly or equal and will always bee seen as an inferior animal
As opposed to the beginning of the story, the little boy shows fear and worry after the drunken father decides to torture the small brown dog, and later throws the dog out the window from its leg, where the dog falls and dies. The drunken father doesn't pay mind to the harm that he's done, while the boy and the wife couldn't do much to stop him but were aware of the treatment and the repercussions that follow.
This story resembles the United States after the abolition of slavery. The brown dog symbolizes a slave, free from slavery but restricted because of the Jim Crow laws that were imposed, especially in the south during the late 1800's. The injustice to the dog, also can be interpreted as a slave who was forced under this crude and harsh mistreatment and sometimes, under disturbing deaths and lynching.
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