Pet Milk Analysis

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Pet Milk Craft Essay
Chelsea Davis
“Pet Milk” by Stuart Dybek presents many interesting points about the human experience, between paying intense attention to detail, appealing to the audience’s emotions, and exploring the idea of “just living in the moment.” At first, Pet Milk just appears to present itself as the narrator talking to himself and just letting his thoughts wander through small, seemingly random details. One might be better to think of this piece as a stream of consciousness, in which the narrator links one detail to another, creating an interconnecting web of experiences to present to the audience, as well as providing a small glimpse into the narrator’s life, both in the past and present. Dybek masterfully weaves together some of the most miniscule details and beautifully illustrates just how personal they are to his main character. Starting with watching the snow fall and the way Pet Milk swirls in his coffee, the narrator moves through memories of his grandmother and his girlfriend Kate, the Pet Milk and the similarly meaningful cream in the King Alphonse drink, and seeing the same “swirling sky” in both of these worlds that he inhabits. Most of these details seem to be meaningful to the main character because they remind him of Kate, who the author uses as his main window for the reader into the main character’s mind. The author appeals to the emotions of his audience when discussing the main character’s feelings for Kate. At first, the narrator expresses regret with Kate, in simple things like not being able to see her ‘lovely knees’ often because of her work’s uniform and the feeling that while the two of them were still together, he could feel them drifting apart. Not necessarily because of their individual feelings, but because he knew that they wouldn’t be able to stay together when the time came for them to follow their plans for the future. He describes his contradicting feelings in that talking about their plans made them feel...
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