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Misunderstanding The Day We Were Dogs

Misunderstanding The Day We Were Dogs

Writers as well as many people make or mislabel stories. Magical, unreal, real, fantastic, and the sublime are just a few types of different labels that a person can use. The different types of stories are amusing and fun. The world is made up of all types of different labels of material for stories that people like to read and enjoy. Elana Garro is one of the Spanish authors who has written stories that have been mislabeled and put with other stories that were listed under the magical and the unreal. The short story “The Day We Were Dogs” is one of the stories that has been misplaced. Elana Garro wrote this story in 1993.

The magical and the unreal of this story could easily be identified; during the first part of the story, the girls woke to find a day with two days inside the day. Now either this situation is unreal or it is crazy. A person can think of a day and then think of the present, or a person can think of the future and be in the present. The thought of two days being together in the same day is ludicrous; the thought of this statement being real is also ludicrous.

The real aspect of this story is that the children are pretending to be dogs. The children have wild and creative imaginations. The short story has two children out in the yard with their dog, Toni. While in the yard, the children are talking to the dog and

talking among themselves. “Look for your dog name, I’m looking for mine. I’m a dog? Yes were dogs”(208). Children can actually be playing and really think that they are living in their pretend world. They can actually believe that they are really living their imaginations.

People who actually read stories question the plot and the story as the story progresses. The characters in the story accept everything; however, they are pretending. Questioning and receiving ideas about time and space with the identity of the characters worked well with the characters of the story. By the experience of being a reader, this person can verify that looking for a plot and the story line is very important. The attitude of the characters of the short story of “The Day We Were Dogs” did well. The way the characters acted through out the story was like real children playing out side with the pet dog.

Identifying The Day We Were Dogs

Identifying The Day We Were Dogs

Whether or not “The Day We Were Dogs” (1993) is a magical realist story is questionable. Often stories are misidentified because of the closeness of literature such as magical realism, the fantastic, and the sublime. The story leaves a lot to one’s imagination instead of presenting it in the text. Elena Garro blends two days and two completely different worlds together in this story.

The magical elements depend on how one uses his or her imagination throughout this story. The girls could either be pretending to be dogs or they could have actually become dogs. If they are in fact real dogs, they are able to talk, and their dog Toni also talks. Also, magic numbers are used throughout the story. The main magical element is the blending of the two days. The story jumps back and forth between the two and never distinguishes between them.

The realistic elements include Toni’s actions. He shows how dogs spend their days lying under a tree and eating all day. Another realistic element depends on how one accepted the events that happened within the two parallel days. If the girls were not actually turned in to dogs but were just pretending, then this fact is another realistic element. Children often pretend they are animals, expecially dogs.

In magical realism, “the text contains something we cannot explain according to the laws of the universe as we know them” (Faris 167) and the “descriptions detail a stong presence of the phenomenal world” (Faris 169). These quotes explain why one might think that this story is magical realism due to the two different worlds that are going on at the same time. Also, one “experience[s] the closeness or near-merging of two realms, two worlds” (Fari…

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…l Realism: Theory, History, Community. Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham; N.C.: Duke UP, 1995. 249-263.

Garro, Elena. “The Day We Were Dogs.” Latin American Writers: Thirty Stories. Ed. Gabriells Ibieta. New York, N.Y.: St. Martin’s Press, Inc., 1993. 206-212.

Faris, Wendy B. “Scherazade’s Children: Magical Realism and Postmodern Fiction.” Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community. Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham; N.C.: Duke UP, 1995.

Sandner, David. “Romanticism and Transcendence in Nineteenth-Century Children’s Fantasy Literature.” The Fantastic Sublime. Westport, C.T.: Greenwood Press. 45-65, 142-147.

Theim, Jon. “The Textualization of the Reader in Magical Realist Fiction.” Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community. Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham; N.C.: Duke UP, 1995. 235-247.

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