Misunderstanding The Day We Were Dogs

Misunderstanding The Day We Were Dogs

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Misunderstanding The Day We Were Dogs

    Writers as well as many people make or mislabel stories. Magical, unreal, real, fantastic, and the sublime are just a few types of different labels that a person can use. The different types of stories are amusing and fun. The world is made up of all types of different labels of material for stories that people like to read and enjoy. Elana Garro is one of the Spanish authors who has written stories that have been mislabeled and put with other stories that were listed under the magical and the unreal. The short story "The Day We Were Dogs" is one of the stories that has been misplaced. Elana Garro wrote this story in 1993.

The magical and the unreal of this story could easily be identified; during the first part of the story, the girls woke to find a day with two days inside the day. Now either this situation is unreal or it is crazy. A person can think of a day and then think of the present, or a person can think of the future and be in the present. The thought of two days being together in the same day is ludicrous; the thought of this statement being real is also ludicrous.

The real aspect of this story is that the children are pretending to be dogs. The children have wild and creative imaginations. The short story has two children out in the yard with their dog, Toni. While in the yard, the children are talking to the dog and
talking among themselves. "Look for your dog name, I'm looking for mine. I'm a dog? Yes were dogs"(208). Children can actually be playing and really think that they are living in their pretend world. They can actually believe that they are really living their imaginations.

People who actually read stories question the plot and the story as the story progresses. The characters in the story accept everything; however, they are pretending. Questioning and receiving ideas about time and space with the identity of the characters worked well with the characters of the story. By the experience of being a reader, this person can verify that looking for a plot and the story line is very important. The attitude of the characters of the short story of "The Day We Were Dogs" did well. The way the characters acted through out the story was like real children playing out side with the pet dog.

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Simpkins relates the theory of defamiliarization to magical realism. Simpkins states "sense of disbelief, magic realist presents familiar things in unusual ways"(150). With the reading of this story, a person has to wonder if it represents what Simpkins was talking about or was it what Rabkin's theory on the fantastic was all about? Rabkin's idea was that "180 degree reversal of expectations was based on normal ground rules on in the text". An example from the story "Don't be afraid we're dogs"(212) the girls stated the next day.

Metamorphosis takes shapes, forms, and identity. Franz Roh believes that this is the way artist perceive or see objects in the world (16). Faris has the "defamiliazation" idea also, and actually this thought does work with this story of "The Day We Were Dogs." With the three children taking on the position of being dogs is a part of a metamorphosis and the defamilization (173,178).

The hesitation in this story with the characters did not happen; however, the readers did seem to hesitate. This story it seems to cause a lot of wondering and a lot less of hesitation. Eva told the housekeeper "to cook for three dogs and no people"(208). A statement like that would make anyone wonder; as well as hesitate to fix dog food for two children, they were taking care of.

The purpose of this story was to provide entertainment and imagination to any one who reads it. The complete purpose of the story is for clean family entertainment. The short story has kids playing as if they were dogs lying in the yard taking in the sun as dogs really do and enjoying every minute.

The story did not have any grotesque or mythic areas in it; however, the story did have some of the psychic realism through out the story. Burke states that anything that is ripped us out of everyday life was sublime. Burke states his theory in a essay he has written in a book called "A Philosophical Enquirey into the Sublime and the Beautiful". One example is when the girls state that they "felt like dogs", "if they weren't pretending"(251). The characters seem to have amplified the reality distortion of strangers. They had invisible feelings, desires, and fears. All of these give signs of psychic realism, a magical realist strategy (citation).

The way people react to this story gives out the vibes that it has more fantastic features than magical realism. "Are we dogs"is the way in which the people themselves feel about being dogs. The way the words are even written is the way fantastic is written. Everything about the story is fantastic. There are two different days mentioned in the story and the two different horizons as well. This characteristic seems to be part of the sublime; however, not so many things are obvious that anyone would think this short story is not sublime but fantastic.

The short story has qualities different types of magical realism, fantastic, sublime, the real, and the unreal. The fantastic plot of the story will keep a person interested today. With the hustle and bustle of the world today, most people don't have much time to read a large novel so short stories are the best for the busy people of the world today. The main point is that the world is made up of all types of different labels of material for stories that people like to read and enjoy.

Works Cited

Burke, Edmund. A Philosophical Enquirey into the Sublime and Beautiful. New York: Penguin Classics, 1998.

Faris, Wendy B. Scheherazade's Children: Magical Realism and Postmodern Fiction Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community. Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham, N.C.: Duke up, 1995: 163-190.

Garro, Elena, The Say We Were Dogs. Liberary of Congress Catalog Card Number 92-50034, 1993, St. Martins Press INC. Latin American Writers: Thirty Stories. Ed Gabriella Ibieta. New York, N.Y.: St. Martins Press, 1993:206-212.

Rabkin, Eric S. The Fantastic in Literature. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton up, 1978.

Simpkins, Scott. Sources of Magical Realism. Supplements to Realism in Contemprary Latin American Literature. "Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community. Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham, N.C.: Duke up, 1995: 145-159.

Todorov, Tvetan. The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Form. Cleveland: The Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1973.

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