Walking the Dog

1073 words 5 pages
Analysis of “Walking the dog” by Bernard Mac Laverty
Often society can be a weird entity. It can abuse its power, and make its citizens scapegoats. Often people tend to be naïve and believe in what society tells them, but what happens when society is no longer governed by people with justice and sympathy? In Bernard Mac Laverty’s “Walking the dog” (1994), Mac Laverty is capable of lighten this problem. In the story, Mac Laverty is trying to show that when citizens do not respond to society’s challenges, they become dogs on a leash for a minor group of people who abuse their power to stand their ground. The story lightens the way people should stand their ground and become independent of society’s leash.
The short
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In such situation, it is up to every individual to decide for itself either to stand its ground, or to surrender and thus remain “dog on a leash” for the IRA.
Another interesting part of this short story is the question if John is chosen by coincidence, or because they know him, and want to get him caught. If we have a look on the way the gunman acts in the car, he asks John loads of questions. For instance “Are you a Protestant or a Roman Catholic”, “What was your parents”, Let’s hear you saying the alphabet. They want to figure out whether John is a Protestant or a Roman Catholic. John declares, “I’m… I don’t believe in any of that crap. I suppose I’m nothing”. This shows that John is afraid to tell maybe because he is afraid of losing his pride, and he wants to escape the leash.
This is the point where the story takes a turn. The gunman asks John what he thinks about them (the IRA) to which John keeps silent. They say, “[…] Nothing’ll happen – no matter what you say.” Eventually John says, “I hate the Provos. I hate everything you stand for” to which the gunman says, “Spoken like a man […] He’s no more a Fenian that I am”. When the gunman says this, he reveals that they are not from the IRA because a “Fenian” is a man who is a Catholic. This indicates that maybe they were out trying to take revenge by finding a person involved in the IRA and do the same to this

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