Reading Reflection

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Upon reflection of this week readings; I would have to say that the literary work that captured my interest the most would have to be John Updike‘s poem “Dog's Death”. He captures your emotions right from the start and sets the tone for the entire poem. In line one he states that she must have been kicked, this sets the tone for the whole poem. We the readers are aware that this beloved dog has been injured in some way. Furthermore, he captures your attention by using sadness and loss to captivate his readers into an emotional state of longing to bring this beloved dog back to life. In line six we are given the information that an autopsy was performed and it revealed that she had a rupture in her liver. Thus, we were informed early on into the poem that a loss occurred. Moreover, John Updike not only sets the tone for this poem, he also uses the reader’s imagination by using symbolic imagery which he gracefully incorporates into the poem. In lines two through four, we find out that she was a young puppy that was just being potty trained. Furthermore, he also uses metaphors by using word pictures to imaginatively compare and show how each description resembles the other. In lines seven and eight he compares the family trying to play with her as blood filled up her skin and how her heart was learning to lie down forever. Therefore, the analytical approach that I would use to interpret this literary work would be the formalist approach. I would utilize this approach because it focuses on the development of the poem itself. John Updike chose to set the tone of sadness and loss in his poem “Dog's Death” to convey what he imagined to his readers. He took us on a journey into his feelings, or better yet, what he wanted his readers to feel. Firstly, what makes the setting of this poem so memorable is the picture that he paints of an ordinary family that finds out that something is wrong with their dog. The plot was intriguing because you can vividly see the dog’s...
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