Walking the Dog by Bernard MacLaverty


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The short story “Walking the Dog” by Bernard MacLaverty is a third-person account of a narrator who is not part of the action. However, the storyteller takes on the perspective of the main character, John, and presents the events from his point of view: “- enough to see that the upholstery in front of him was blue - then everything went dark as the car passed. He could hear his dog panting. He felt a distinct metal hardness - a point - cold in the nape hair of his neck.” 

The narrator does not have more knowledge than John with regards to the so-called IRA fighters, but he does have insight into John’s thoughts and feelings: “John knew the myth that Protestants and Roman Catholics, because of separate schooling, pronounced the eighth letter of the alphabet differently. But he couldn't remember who said which.” 

On certain instances, the narrator is implicit, like when John is hit on the head: “There was a sudden staggering pain in the back of his head and he thought he'd been shot”. The narrator is also implicit when he suggests that the so-called IRA members are not actually part of the IRA but only claim to be so: “ 'He's no more a Fenian than I am.' ”


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Walking the Dog by Bernard MacLaverty

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