Stolpestad is the name of a short story and the protagonist in the story is the police officer. Our main character who we follow on duty for a day, what appears to be any other day in his mediocre life.
he gets a call by a mother and her son, they have a dog that he needs to shoot.
His reaction to the suffering dog or absence of it towards the ending of the story raises the themes, stagnation, indifference and emotional absence in one’s own life.
The main character’s life are at still. When you read the text one of the first thing you notice is the narrative view the effect of it. Written in second person, present tense, and it’s like the police officer are the narrator of the story.
When he is refering to himself as ”you” it has the same effect if it was told in third person. You have the feeling that it’s a stamp on how life is if you walked in his shoes, and everybody else whould feel the same: monotous.
At the same time there is a feeling ...view middle of the document...
So when it comes to killing the dog the officer takes a stand "You bend at the waist and gently touch the sight to just above the dog's ear, hold it there, picture how the boy will have to find her (...) - and
you slide the barrel to the dog's neck, to just under the collar, the wounds hidden(...)"
He does this in respect of the child, so insn’t making the wounds to visible but this doesn’t cut it. The father turns up with the son, and reveales that the dog didn’t die but suffered more then earlier.
“the vet arrives a little later, asks if we did this to the dog, makes us feel where you're supposed to shoot an animal, this slot just under the ear."
This tells us that the officer has no fellings to the whole situation.
It’s like he did this so he could spare himself from troubles.
He acts selfishly because he does not want to deal with any emotions.
The whole setting which is being descriped also gives the feeling of boredom.
The officer lives in a average city, he knows all the roads and places.
He is like the weather on that given Saturday (...) sun never breaking through the clouds, clouds never breaking into rain - the odometer like a clock ticking all these bored little pent-up streets and
mills and tenements away."
He is passive, his emotions like Elvis has left the building.
And the dog is a good example, he sees himself as the dog, not dead but also not alive. Maybe that’s the reason he didn’t killed it after all, when he saw himself when he looked the dog in the eyes, he saw more then a dying dog.
In conclusion our protagonist is in a rut. He is stuck in the boring life that he lives.
The narrative has a important role in the story because in cuts very clear to how sees himself in the whole situation called life.
How indifferent he acts upon everything from the dying dog to the dull weather.
The grey state of mind that is being revealed by the settings we are being given as readers.
At the end he walks away showing a change might come, breaking the every day life he lives now, ore perhaps killing himself.
[ 1 ]. P. 1 L. 1
[ 2 ]. P 2 L. 45 -46
[ 3 ]. P 3. L 84 - 87
[ 4 ]. P 4 L. 148 - 150