A Dog’s Tale Study Guide and Summary

Posted on 22 November 2011 by Aajiz

Introduction:

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) 1835-1910

“All modern American Literature comes from one book by Mark Twain Called Huckkberry Finn” (Hemingway)

“I believe that our heavenly father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey.” (Darwin Theory, Twain)

Literary Masterpiece:

The Celebrated Jumping Frog (1867)

The Innocent Abroad (US/UK Prejudices)

“I have no race prejudice”

Dictated Autobiography to A.B Paine (Pub. 1924)

“He had a dream,” I say, “and it shorts him.”

“Funny Dream,” the doctor says (Huckleberry Finn)

 A Dog’s tale Introduction

In A Dog’s Tale Mark Twain used metaphorical language. His style of writing is narrative and Subjective. He also called new trend set in American literature and appreciated art of characterization through animal characters due to his animal saving interest (wild life) and his first book titled by The National Anti-Vivisection Society, (NAVS) as animated animal’s characters for the very first time in the history.

Summary

The book is told from the perspective of a loyal pet, a dog was even described by the first sentence of the story, “My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I’m a Presbyterian.”The story begins with a description of the life of the dog as a puppy and its separation from its mother before it was inexplicable. Her new baby puppy and its owner added soon to his new home. When a fire broke out in the nursery, the dog risks his life to take the child to safety.

In the process, her are motives misunderstood and cruelly beaten. Soon, however, the truth about the situation and she discovered endless praise. Later in history, his puppy died after his biological experiments. Only a servant seems to realize the irony and said, “Poor little dog, you saved his child!” Ultimately. Pines dog inconsolable at the tomb of the puppy with clear implications that it will do so until death

A Dog’s tale Critical Study

Chapter 1

Dog vs. Human being

In first chapter from the start of the story, Twain made parallel comparison between animal and human being as he gave human names or use of allusion like St. Bernard, Collie, and Presbyterian

Reflection of the modern age

We also observed that the reflection of modern age was also there in very first chapter of story through church school and neighborhood activities as we are doing also now a days.

                                                “Children to Sunday school, dogmatic gathering in the neighborhood,”

Humor

In first aspect of humor is very prominent aspect. The character of dog’s mother like dictionary and if she did not know anything, she explained that thing in a new way every time.

“It seemed like a dictionary speaking and explained it a new way every time”

Use of metaphor

Mark Twain used metaphorical language in the story. Some we saw comparison of animal represented through the flowers and have no fear of anything but anything like flower have no fear.

“Yes, she was a daisy, she was not afraid of anything”

Use of simile

As Chaucer, we consider him the father of poetry, he represented the month of April in a very beautiful way. Mark Twain also described summer as very beautiful way through simile.

“As calm as summer’s day”

Hollowness of feelings

Human’s hollow look was there in very specific age. People were searching for beloved ones whom would felt their feeling in many ways. So the aspect of hollowness of felling is also very important in story.

“She Fell over and rolled and laughed and barked in the most insane way”

Allusion/Anecdotes

“King Charles spaniel could remain entirely despicable in her society”

Chapter 2

Morality

“Live it for the best good of others and never mind about the results they were not our affair”

Religious approach

“She had gone to the Sunday-school with the children and had laid them up in her memory those other words and phrases”

Parent children farewell

“We looked our last upon each other through our tears”

Faithfulness

“When there is a time of danger to another do not think of yourself, think of your mother and do as she would do”

Chapter 3

Human vs. Animals

“I was the same as member of family they loved me and petted me”

Children Psychology

“The baby was a year old and fond of me and never could get enough of hauling at my tail, innocent happiness”

Humour

“The laboratory was not a book or a picture that is the lavatory”

Age reflection

“He was a renowned scientist I do not know what the word means but my mother”

Use of irony

“There could not be happier dog that I was or a grateful one”

Symbolism

“Then came the winter, a spark from the wood fire short out and it lit on the slope of the tent”

Internal monologue

“My mother’s farewell was sounding in my ears; I dragged the baby out of the flames”

Hamartia

“Begun you cursed beast and I jumped to save myself and stroked me furiously with his cane”

Use of irony

“I did not know I had done to make him so bitter and so unforgiving”

Hunger theory

“They called and called day nights, hunger and thirst drive me mad”

“Come back to us — oh come back to us, and forgive”

Selfishness

“When the people wanted to know what made me limp they looked ashamed and change the subject”

Science as destroyer

“They discussed optics that certain injury to the brain would produced blindness or not”

“Suddenly the puppy shrieked and they set him on the floor”

“There I have won — confess it he is a blind as a bat”

Death and Hope

“I know the puppy was out of its pain know, footman dug a hole and I saw he was going to plant the puppy”

“I have watched two whole weeks and he does not come up like Robin Adair”

“Poor little doggie, you have saved HIS child”

“The Humble little friend is gone where the beasts that perish go”

By: Muhammad Afzal

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