Puppy by George Saunders Essay

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What comes to mind when one thinks of the word ‘puppy’? It is probable describe a puppy as a lovable, adorable, and cuddly companion. However, one might also identify the animal as a menace and a liability or even as a delicious source of food. Why does this single word hold so many meanings? One’s past experiences and biases influences these conflicting views and attitudes. For instance, an individual’s fond view of puppies may exist because they were raised with puppies and consequently grew affectionate toward the animals. On the contrary, if another individual has not bonded with puppies as pets, then they will share the latter point of view. In the short story “Puppy” by George Saunders, the multiple characters view single events and…show more content…
Marie values the affection and tenderness that were absent in the relationship between her and her mother. Therefore, she is insistent on being a caring and supportive presence in her children’s life. In addition, Marie is also hypersensitive to relationships that do not appear to embody her impression of family. This is apparent in Marie’s reaction to Callie’s treatment of Bo. Saunders states, “He rose to a sitting position, railed against the chain, whipped it back and forth, crawled to the water…took a drink: a drink from a dog’s bowl” (176). Marie’s description of Bo alludes to her own childhood. Marie was locked in a closet as a child, like a caged animal; consequently, when Marie compares Bo to a dog, she unconsciously references her own childhood trauma. She identifies Bo as a helpless child, like herself, and sees the cruelty of her own mother in Callie. Therefore, Marie’s narrative is not a concrete, unbiased description of what happened; instead, Marie’s perception is partial to her past experiences. On the contrary, the short story’s second narrator, Callie, views the same event from a altered standpoint. Callie’s stance on motherhood is influenced by her previous experiences and concerns towards Bo. Saunders describes Bo’s dangerous habit of running away and putting himself in danger. Callie is even told that Bo will die if she does not take action to save him (174). Callie,
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