Saltar grupo de enlaces

Your Stuff! - On Books & Writers

Printer-friendly version of all in cover web page

The Self Mirrored in the Other
An Oral Presentation Based on Three Short Stories (4 of 10)

Section 2. Part II.
A Dark Brown Dog

A Dark Brown Dog by Stephen Crane (read the story here)

The second story is A Dark Brown Dog, written by the American author Stephen Crane. It is about a child who met a dark brown dog in the street. Despite the fact that the boy didn't treat the dog nicely, the dog followed the child to his house. The boy and the dog became friends and went together everywhere. The child was the only one in the family who loved the dog. Unfortunately, it came the day when the child's father got extremely drunk. Instead of beating the child, who had hidden under a table, he threw the dog out of the window, killing it.

Stephen Crane was born in America on November 1st 1871 and died of tuberculosis in Germany in 1900. He was the 14th child of a Methodist Minister and started to write stories at the age of eight. After the death of his parents, he moved to New York, where he led a bohemian life, and worked as a freelance writer and journalist. Because of his experiences as a war correspondent in combat areas (the same as Ernest Hemingway), he travelled to Cuba, Greece, Mexico and Texas. The ship where he travelled to Cuba sank in 1896. He spent several days in an open boat waiting to be rescued. After this experience, he wrote "The open boat". It is the story about four men who sunk from the boat called Steamer Commodore. His health got definitely worse thereafter.

Realism and symbolism are two pieces of Stephen Crane's writing technique. Realism was used by Stephen Crane to expose social problems. In A Dark Brown Dog he tells the story about a relation between a child and a dog to show us the topic of violence. We all know about people who are violent, especially if they are drunk, as the father of the boy in this story. At first, the dog is a victim of the boy (it is loyal to the boy, thought he treats it badly). Probably the child refects his father's behaviour towards him in his own behaviour towards the dog.

In A Dark Brown Dog Crane refers continually to the dog as if it was a person: "He stopped opposite the child", "The child put out his hand and called him". This technique make us realize that the writer personifies the character of the dog, maybe as a symbolic way of showing us that the tragic destiny of the dog could had been the boy's.

Go to Next Page (Part III, Section 2)
Go to Section 3. Group Dynamics for the Oral Presentation
Go to Section 4. Learning English with these stories
Go to Ana's Main Page