Essay on My Kid’s Dog and Irony

1121 Words5 Pages
Jonathan Blais
Mr. Ersinghaus
Story Critiques
9 May 2011
My Kid’s Dog and Irony Ron Hansen’s work, My Kid’s Dog, is a story about revenge, irony, and circularity. The family pet, Sparky, dies. We are informed of this in the first lines of the piece, “My kid’s dog died. Sparky. I hated that dog (244).” Here Hansen gives us a clue to their relationship, “We got off on the wrong foot. Whining in his pen those first nights. My squirt gun in his face and him blinking from the water. And then the holes in the yard. The so-called accidents in the house (244).” Right off the bat we get a clear sense of the mood between the two. Hansen also foreshadows the fact that the dog will somehow get revenge on the narrator, “And then, at
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Along this difficult march, the narrator reflects on the life of the dog and remembers the not-so-bad characteristics of the family pet, “During our joint ordeal I had developed a grudging affection for our pet; he who’d been so quick to defend my kith and kin against the noise of passing trucks, who took loud notice of the squirrels outside, who held fast in the foyer, hackles raised, fearlessly barking, whenever company arrived at the front door (248).” Soon after this moment the narrator is confronted by a motorist who wishes to ‘help’ him with his heavy looking package, which he describes as a ‘family heirloom.’ The narrator consents, and after loading the dog into the trunk, the motorists takes off, ignorantly and ironically thinking he just stole something of value. The piece ends with the narrator informing his youngest daughter of Sparky’s untimely death and the reveal of the dog’s revenge. After the narrator observes his crying daughter, Hansen concludes, “And that was Sparky’s final revenge, for I said, ‘Okay, honey. Another dog, just like him (250).’” The narrative structure of the story is fairly straightforward. The narrator is recounting an experience that happened to him at some point in the past. Along with the simple flow of the story, reflective details, and occasional scene, there are some significant techniques that Hansen uses to flesh out and add credibility to his story. Right off the bat we see the title, My Kid’s Dog.

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