Analysis of John Updike’s “Dogs Death”
Professor Alicia Giffin
April 12, 2012
Death is such a hard feeling to describe. How can you possibly describe the feelings of loss and emptiness? Unless you have experienced this yourself you cannot truly understand. Because John Updike’s poem “Dog’s Death” (1953), also speaks of the loss of a family member, his beloved dog, I lost my Dog to death and he was part of my family, one of my children. I have experienced death and loss and in my essay I am going to analyze the literary work of John Updike and his poem “Dogs Death” (Updike, 1953). In my essay I will explain why I choose this poem, which analytical approach I am going to be using along with evaluating the meaning of the selection “Dogs Death” and why it captured my interest. It is my hope that at the conclusion of this essay you too will see why. As stated earlier, unless you have experienced this yourself you cannot truly understand. John Updike’s poem “Dog Death” (1953) also shows the loss of a family member. I choose this particular literary writing because I could relate to the feelings of loss, the loss of a family member. “She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car” (Updike, 1953) already sets the tone for this poem. From the beginning you can feel the sense of loss, confusion, sadness and feelings of frustration that the injury was unknown. Along with this, he uses imagery to enhance the tone. As our text stated, the tone of this poem was “designed to fire up feelings”. (Clugston, 2010) I lost my dog to death and he was part of my family, one of my children. I was unaware my dog was sick and the death was sudden and unexpected. When John says “As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin and her heart was learning to lie down forever” (Updike, 1953) I was taken back in my own mind to my similar situation. In this essay I choose to use the Reader-Response...
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