Books and Movies Reviews


The talking dog signifies the magical allure of Florida to both
Vanise and Bob in the novel.If a talking dog exists, then certainly
anything else can exist, and dreams can come true in Florida, which seems
like the Promised Land to both the characters.The dog also signifies the
Caribbean interest in magic and voodoo.The Caribbean islanders believe in
the magical arts, and so a talking dog would not be unusual to Vanise, it
would simply signify the magic arts do exist.Atfirst, the dog seems like
a savior, leading Vanise and the children to a safe hiding place on the
island, but it is not heaven, it is simply another step on the way to
Florida.Vanise is raped by the man who helps them, so the “bargain has
been struck.”Vanise and Claude work, and the man lets them sleep on a
filthy mattress in an old chicken coop.Only someone in desperate straits
would find this salvation, and only someone in desperate straits would
follow a talking dog, or even hear it.Vanise is open to the magic, and so
the dog seeks her out and helps her.
The dog also signifies hope, for Vanise and the children follow him
out of hope, and work for George out of hope.They want a better life, and
they will do just about anything to get it, even follow a three-legged
talking dog.The dog seems to have the best life of all of the characters
in this section, because all he has to do is basically lie in the sun and
eat the food he scrounged from Vanise.He does not have to work, and he
has a full stomach and a place to sleep.In that, the dog also symbolizes
what Vanise and Bob both hope to find in Florida, a better life where they
will not have to work so hard, and can lie in the sun and enjoy life.The
dog has a decent life, and that is what Vanise and Bob are desperately
seeking, too, and so, Vanise follows the talking dog, hoping to find
something better wherever it leads….


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