Dog's Death By John Updike Essay

600 words - 3 pages

Dog’s Death: John Updike
Sherralle Wieglenda
ENG 125 Victoria Stamm
July 23, 2012

The Dog’s death is a poem by John Updike. It is a very sad poem about the death of a family dog. The approach I am going to use to analyze this poem is the readers response approach.
This poem captured my interest because I have just recently lost one of my dog named Puppa. While we were on vacation we got a phone call telling us that they Puppa needed to be put down because they found that her lungs were covered with cancer. While reading this poem I could really feel the pain that this family was feeling. John Updike wrote this poem with the tone of sadness and also gave us the image of what this poor dog looked like when he was getting ready to die.
The analytical approach that I want to use to ...view middle of the document...

What connections can I make between this piece of literature and others that I’ve read?
vi. Did my “connection” reinforce thinks I knew or add new insights? (Clugston, 2010)

A narrative poem is the best approach for the subject of John Updike’s poem “Dog Death”. The subject about the loss of a love one is usually told in the form of stories. The narrative creates an image of how much this family valued this dog.
The title indicates that the poem is about the death of a young dog or puppy. Updike personifies the dog, to stress of how this families loss of a love one impacts them. We know that she is loved because in the third line, the narrator says that she was surrounded by love. Line fourteen reveals the love for the dog when the narrator states, “And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears.” In the third stanza, the narrator talks about how the dog crawled under the youngest child’s bed, indicating that the children loved and played with this puppy. The narrator allows the dog to rest on his lap on the way to the vet.
Even without naming the dog, the personification incarnates her and the pronoun “she” helps readers relate to the dog’s value to the family. The dog is a puppy, perhaps new to the family, who has not been named. Clues are given that the dog is a puppy in lines two and three of the first stanza, “Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn to use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor” (Updike 1965).

Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education. Retrieved from
Asselin, M. (2000). Reader Response in Literature and Reading Instruction. Teacher Librarian. 27 (4).
Updike, J. (1965). Harvard Yard by The Adams House and Lowell House Printers.

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