I M A Dog Biting Myself For Sympathy Short Story

772 Words4 Pages
Alicerenyth Marquez
1 May 2017
Mrs. Stallone
Engl. 2303
“I’m a Dog Biting Myself for Sympathy”: A Child’s Upbringing “If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money” - Abigail Van Buren. Louise Erdrich’s short story I’m a Mad Dog Biting Myself for Sympathy shows that the way a child is raised or brought up is what will determine how they will act and who they will be as adults, we are the product of our environment. Erdrich’s short story has six characters, three major and three minor. The first major character is our nameless narrator who is an awful person that steals things just because he feels like it, “Who I am is just the habit of what I always was, and who I’ll be is the result” (p. 127). The narrator also has a very hard time keeping healthy relationships with family and significant others. The second major character is the baby, who the narrator names “Mason Joseph Andrews”, we don’t know much about him besides the fact that he’s a baby and survives the cold. Finally, the last major character is Dawn, she is the narrator’s ex-girlfriend and is stated by the narrator to be the motivation for his actions, hence the motivation for this story, even though she does not physically appear in the story. Next we have the three
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The stolen toucan is the narrator’s desperate plea to be seen and heard, his craving for attention. For him, it’s a normality to self-sabotage – automatic and natural. Without chaos, he has no means to act and react. Mason Joseph Andrews, the baby, is also significant, “but already I am more to him than is own father because I taught him what I know about the cold. It sinks in, there to stay, doesn’t it?” (p. 132). He’s purity personified, a blank slate – and when juxtaposed against the narrator, analogies form: Light versus Dark, Innocence versus Corruption, Good versus

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