Walking the Dog Essay

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Analysis of “Walking the dog” by Bernard Mac Laverty
Often society can be a weird entity. It can abuse its power, and make its citizens scapegoats. Often people tend to be naïve and believe in what society tells them, but what happens when society is no longer governed by people with justice and sympathy? In Bernard Mac Laverty’s “Walking the dog” (1994), Mac Laverty is capable of lighten this problem. In the story, Mac Laverty is trying to show that when citizens do not respond to society’s challenges, they become dogs on a leash for a minor group of people who abuse their power to stand their ground. The story lightens the way people should stand their ground and become independent of society’s leash. The short
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John is a regular citizen who looks after his job and airs his dog. John works as an E.O (executive officer), which is an important person who is accustomed to lead people and be in charge. As he walks along the invisible footpath a car stops beside him. One of the men in the car, who mention that they are from the IRA, aims a gun at John, telling him to step inside the car. This makes the car the setting for the main part of the story. He is walking his dog, and in the text, it says, “snuffling and sniffing around […] - being the hunter”. This is a dog with normal animal instincts. It symbolizes the fact that every hunter, animal or human being, will always be ready to fight for its target, and fight for its own stand. In the text, it also says: “[…] He had to be extra careful in keeping the dog under control”. This symbolizes the fact that the dog is on a leash, unable to choose its own desires. This could refer to the people in the society who are under control of the IRA, whom has taken charge of people’s lives. The fact that the dog does what its owner desires is also exposed when John patters his thigh, telling the dog to sit next to him and the dog listens. The dog is an important pat of this short story, because it represents the relationship between normal citizens and the IRA. The dog symbolizes the innocent citizen, which simply obeys its leader perhaps because it in some ways is
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