Dark Brown Dog

Topics: Abuse, Bullying Pages: 3 (1050 words) Published: November 19, 2014
_A Dark Brown Dog_ is a short story by the praised realistic author Stephen Crane. Within this piece, Crane takes a different approach to the boy and dog theme by creating an atmosphere of abusiveness. This trait is well incorporated by Crane and can be easily found within the characters that Crane had carefully crafted. Specifically, the abusive trait can be found in varying levels within the father and the young boy. And while the prominence of this sadistic trait remains in the story, the trait helps create a a change in boy and dog's relationship. In the story, the father's presence is accompanied by and is synonymous with sadism and abuse. The first incident in which the father appears is when the boy first brings the dark brown dog to his house. Naturally, the family clamors about the dog and scrutinize it to the point where the boy is protesting loudly as to keep the dog. At that moment the father walks into the house in the midst of the yelling and, "perceives that it would amaze and anger everybody if such a dog were allowed to remain, he decided that it should be so" (Crane 3). This reflects how the father takes enjoys forcing the family to put up with the presence of the unwanted dog. The incident is also representative of how the father finds pleasure in others suffering, a tenet of sadism. While this incident may not seem to define the father as an abuser, it remains as a hint of the full extent of the father's sadistic nature. In fact, the entire magnitude of the father's abusiveness is encapsulated by the turning point of the story in which the boy and the dog come home from one of their adventures only to arrive to the sight of the father throwing cooking utensils in a drunken rage. The sight drove the boy to seek shelter from under a table while the dog trounced around the room excited by the spectacle, unaware of the danger. The dog's vulnerability and naivety led the father to take advantage of it as he beat the dog with a pan, force the dog...
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