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To Dance with the White Dog
One Work Cited Terry Kay writes a stirring novel called To Dance with the White Dog. In the beginning of the novel, the main character, Sam Peek, loses his wife, Cora Peek, to a heart attack. Soon after, Sam begins to see a mysterious white dog that hides from everyone, including his children. Kay never reveals if White Dog is in fact real or simply a figment of Sam Peek's imagination, but several plot elements lead a reader to believe that White Dog is in fact a real animal[b1].
Kay's use of flashback through journal entries, memories, and near climax moments allows the reader to understand Sam Peek's life story, the loneliness Peek experiences after his wife's death and question the reality of white dog. White Dog, who Sam refers to as a girl, seems to fill the void left by Sam's wife. Sam tries to show White Dog to his children and they are unable to see her. A game ensues between Sam and his daughters concerning White Dog, which further leads to the question of White Dog's existence[b2].
A key clue, that leads a reader to assume that white dog is real, comes in the form of a journal entry in which Sam remembers, "Cora and I had a dog that looked just like White Dog when we lived in Tampa, right after we were married. She also tired to hide from everybody but us (30[b3])." In this case, the dog is real and would only hide from other people, just like White Dog tends to do with other people beyond Sam[b4]. Frosty's similarity to White Dog also implies White Dog's infallible realism.
Another key instance, that solidifies White Dog's reality, occurs when the story creates a near climax with Sam's fall due to the infection in his hip. When Sam's children bring him home, they finally see White Dog for the first time. "My God. Look at that. I told you, Kate said softly. I told you." (90)." Because someone other than Sam can see White Dog, therefore White Dog is real[b5].
Therefore through the use of journal entries, near climactic events, and the post traumatic experiences of Sam's family,
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Kay, Terry. To Dance with the White Dog. New York: Pocket Books, 1990.
[b1]Incorrect format for the title of a novel; Clear, strong thesis.
[b2]Good development of magical realism; "Kay" is the antecedent for masculine pronoun references in sentence #1-you probably mean Sam Peek,
[b3]I know that your 1101 Instructor discussed proper integration of quotations into your own writing!
[b4]Be sure to connect this paragraph to magical realism and to White Dog.
[b5]Avoid leaving the reader with the perception that you have changed your argument-remind us that this new evidence does not undermine your thesis.
[b6]You establish and develop a clear, single argument throughout-good! Work on transitions that keep the information in your individual paragraphs connected to the thesis. One paragraph needs to be re-worked or omitted.
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