“The Blind Dog”: A Dodgy Dilemma
“The Blind Dog,” by R. K. Narayan illustrates a regrettable, yet realistic dilemma of freedom vs. necessity. When a blind man binds a dog with leash, a desire for freedom makes the dog run away. However, with no food, this dog is faced with the dilemma of freedom vs. necessity. In the end his need for food overpowers his desire for freedom, and necessity wins. Narayan carefully travels through the dog’s life before he met the blind man and how it unfolds after he met the blind man, to show this dilemma.
Narayan starts off by describing the dog’s conditions prior to meeting the old man. “In evenings he set out on his daily round, loafed in the surrounding streets and lanes, engaged him-self in skirmishes, picked up edible on the roadside and was back at the market by nightfall,” (p.34). He shows a careless and free lifestyle by using verbs such as loafed, but at the same time, gets the author’s sympathy through phrases such as “tail mutilated at a young age by God knows whom,” (p.34).
As the dog meets the blind man for the first time, Narayan sets a happy scene for both the dog and the man. “The blind man threw a handful of food, which the dog ate gratefully. It was perhaps an auspicious moment for a starting friendship,” (p.34). The blind man and dog are shown as companions, and they are both portrayed with an equal status.
However, this status changes dramatically, when the blind man begins to rely on the dog as a guide. “ The dog lumbered up and down and round and round the marketplace with slow steps, tied down to the blind tyrant,” (p.37). Narayan’s word choice shifts completely as this new master-dog relationship is shown. The dog and the man went from being friends, to being a tyrant tying down his dog. The phrasing, ‘up and down and round and round with slow steps,’ derives sympathy for the dog and his repetition of words creates a very strong feeling of weariness. While before, the dog was described as ‘loafing,’...