Parenting In George Saunders's Short Story 'Puppy'

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Right and wrong is relative to the experiences and specifics of any given circumstance. Right and wrong in parenting is no different. George Saunders explores the theme of correct parenting in his short story "Puppy" by thrusting the reader into the consciousness of two mothers on opposing ends of the spectrum. The muddied parallax, stream of consciousness narration of "Puppy" develops the struggle of parenting and the role that life experiences have on parenting style. "Puppy" opens to a mother (Marie) driving her two children to pick up a puppy they found from an advertisement. Marie is characterized through the stream of consciousness narration as an overly optimistic, suburban mom that is trying to make up for her own traumatic childhood. …show more content…
Callie is characterized as a more realistic, action taking mother when it comes to her troubled son, Bo. Finances for Callie is much more difficult than for Marie. Her methods of parenting her son greatly differ from Marie. Callie also compares her own childhood experience to the one she is giving to her son Bo for example when it says, "A yard could be a whole world, like her yard when she was a kid had been a whole world," (Saunders, 175) and she goes on to say, "Today he didn't need the medication because he was safe in the yard, because she'd fixed it so perfect," (Saunders, 175). Callie fails to include that she had solved Bo's problem of darting across the road by chaining him to a tree. The stream of consciousness narration allows Callie to explain her reasoning behind Bo being outside and helps to humanize her inhumane tactics. Callie does the best she can despite their financial problems and Bo's issues. She feels that she loves Bo more than anyone else does and tying him up was merely a way of protecting him. "Who loved him enough to think that up? Who loved him more than anyone else in the world loved him? Her. She did." (Saunders, 179) exhibits the stream of consciousness narrations and allows the reader to sympathize with Callie and almost forgive

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