Symbolism In A Dark Brown Dog By Stephen Crane

1520 WordsOct 19, 20177 Pages
What would society be like if we saw the world through a dog’s eyes? A black and white world, with no judging based on one’s pigmentation. A world where interactions between human beings were genuine and meaningful. A place where one’s skin color does not determine “goodness” or “badness” or make one better than, or worse than. A dog cannot simply distinguish the difference between a good human being and a bad one based on color, for which they only pay attention to how they are treated and the kindness shown from that individual. If dogs could figure this out, why can’t we? A short story written by Stephen Crane in 1893 portrays this mindset of society shortly after slavery was abolished in the United States. “A Dark-Brown Dog” is a…show more content…
The dog represented African Americans’ ongoing mistreatment, with the promise from the Reconstruction Amendments for a better life. By doing so, he tries to become friends with the boy, ends up going home with him and then bad things happen. “The dog would display strategic ability of a high order, dodging, feinting and scuttling about among the furniture. He could force three or four people armed with brooms, sticks, and handfuls of coal, to use all their ingenuity to get in a blow. And even when they did, it was seldom that they could do him a serious injury or leave an imprint.” The themes of subjugation and submission are portrayed in which the stray dogs are like recently freed slaves. They both don’t know the value of their freedom nor do they acknowledge that they are supposed to be treated well, whether they are animals or human beings. They tolerate cruelty while seeking affection and they have hope that conditions will improve. The little boy who is the dynamic character in the story represents the new generation of southerners who are attempting to treat African Americans as equals since they were no longer slaves. Although they had good intentions to attempt to protect African Americans, they haven’t developed enough to the point where they could offer a safe and nurturing environment. However, as Crane insinuates his story, the little boy

More about Symbolism In A Dark Brown Dog By Stephen Crane

Open Document