The Black Dog
When you reach a certain point in life, you wonder what you’ve been missing, and you start reflecting on your past experiences. You compare your life when you were young to the life you have today. Some people realize the big change, and it’s shocking to them, they break down and enter a mid-life crisis. When you worry too much, you have to replace it with something else, like a way to make yourself understand how you ended up here and that’s where the black dog shows up.
Brenda Case is a 54 year old woman who lives with her husband John Case. She is unemployed but stays at home and takes care of the house. John is about the same age as her, his job is well paid so they don’t have any financial worries. Both Brenda and John have reached a certain stage in life; they have achieved what most people set out to do: Get a family with children and to keep a good economy.
Their income is ...view middle of the document...
They don’t understand their mother’s issue. Brenda does need a new interest, since she is going through the midlife crisis; the dog symbolizes the end of her young days, and the beginning of a new period of her life. She has already completed all her previous life goals, so she needs to find a new goal, or a new assignment. That’s why she sees the dog. She observes it, and in the end of the story, she overcomes her fear of it. She takes care of it, buying it a basket in the kitchen. The dog is her new interest, and taking care of it is her new occupation.
The daughters discuss the problems that their mother is having with their father. “”It’s her age,” said the youngest. “Of course it’s her age,” snorted the eldest. (page 134 lines 7-10)
The black dog incident started one random day when John came home. That means the problem showed up out of the blue and gave her these hallucinations. In the quote they blame the black dog on her age, saying it’s because of the age. That’s why when John looks in the mirror and notices how much he has aged; he looked in the mirror and was startled by the face that was so unlike his own. After he had this revelation, he starts seeing the black dog too. It’s a product of their imagination, to find an explanation for their aging, and to understand why things aren’t what they used to be. You go through 3 phases; the first one is fear, when Brenda sits at home, not wanting to go outside because she is scared of the dog. The second phase is overcoming your fear, when Brenda goes shopping, she still fears the dog, but she still goes out of the house, and she realizes that the dog isn’t hurting her. The last phase is acceptance; she accepts the dog in her life and lets it in to the house. She learns to live with it. Just like all other uncontrollable factors in life, you need to learn to live with them, and accept the changes you have to go through. Life isn’t always a walk in the park, and you can’t live your life in the past and not accept change. To live your life, you have to not fear change, and accept that change is a part of life.