A Dog's Tale

A Dog's Tale

3.8 36
by Mark Twain
     
 

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Though not one of Mark Twain's most ambitious works, "A Dog's Tale" is excellent. A lover of dogs and other animals, Twain was opposed to vivisection, which was very popular at the turn of the twentieth century, and other forms of animal cruelty. He spoke out against it in various ways, not least in this fine short story. Though somewhat of a downer, most great works… See more details below

Overview

Though not one of Mark Twain's most ambitious works, "A Dog's Tale" is excellent. A lover of dogs and other animals, Twain was opposed to vivisection, which was very popular at the turn of the twentieth century, and other forms of animal cruelty. He spoke out against it in various ways, not least in this fine short story. Though somewhat of a downer, most great works of art are depressing, including many of Twain's. The author had a strong misanthropic streak and grew more bitter, depressed, and cynical in later years; this is a prime example, condemning human cruelty and apathy in contrast to dogs' unconditional love and selflessness. Twain elsewhere called man "The Lowest Animal," and this is strong evidence. Yet this is not mere propaganda; the story itself is excellent, engrossing and notable in believably portraying a dog's perspective. Also, despite the grimness, Twain's signature humor is here in abundance, not least in the well-known first sentence. One should certainly read his better-known work first, but anyone interested in him will want this, as will animal rights activists. An excerpt from the humorous account reads," My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian. This is what my mother told me, I do not know these nice distinctions myself. To me they are only fine large words meaning nothing. My mother had a fondness for such; she liked to say them, and see other dogs look surprised and envious, as wondering how she got so much education. But, indeed, it was not real education; it was only show: she got the words by listening in the dining-room and drawing-room when there was company, and by going with the children to Sunday-school and listening there; and whenever she heard a large word she said it over to herself many times, and so was able to keep it until there was a dogmatic gathering in the neighborhood, then she would get it off, and surprise and distress them all, from pocket-pup to mastiff, which rewarded her for all her trouble."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781497546967
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
04/04/2014
Pages:
26
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.05(d)
Age Range:
1 - 17 Years

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