Im A Mad Dog Bite Myself For Sympathy Summary

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The way Louise Erdrich uses symbolism in her story “I’m a Mad Dog Biting Myself for Sympathy” portrays a quest of a native american for love. From the repetition the symbols it gives the story a more unified feel and adds a deeper meaning. The narrator has come from a rough and neglectful life, saying, “My parents. It’s not like I hate them or anything. I just can’t see them. I can close my eyes and form my sister’s face behind my eyelids, but not my parents’ faces. Where their eyes should meet mine, nothing (128).” This paper will explain how a toucan, a baby, and some thin ice all come together to dramatize the theme of the effect of social isolation. One of the recurring symbols in “I’m a Mad Dog Biting Myself for Sympathy” is the toucan. The narrator is currently about to purchase a, “huge stuffed part with purple wings and a yellow beak. Really, it is a toucan (127),” for his girlfriend’s Christmas present. But he then just walks out of the store with it, “Just to see if shit happens (127).” And takes off with it. The toucan represents communication and showmanship.…show more content…
The narrator is just asking to get into trouble, first stealing a stuffed parrot to be seen and heard, then stealing a car and kidnapping a baby, signifying purity and innocence, and then leaving it on its own. But when he finally gets caught, he doesn't understand his actions. Through struggle and conflict the narrator went through many emotions on his quest for love. Feeling and expressing ownership over the baby when he knows it is not capable of surviving on its own, something that is contradictory to his normal behavior. “I am not all that afraid. I never am and that’s my problem (131).” In these two lines, his struggle and conflict is summed through his internal battle
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