- Read the text carefully. You may have to read it twice or even three times to fully understand all aspects of it.
- Prepare a brief summary of the main points of the story (app 2 min).
The text is about a 10-year-old boy named Bojan. His father was assigned a sentry mastiff called Kaiser, who would stay with them. Bojan had never had a dog and he had therefore looked forward to meeting the dog, but he was very disappointed when he saw “the behemoth”. Although Kaiser was limited by the yard, the dog still dominated the neighborhood. Many in the neighborhood were scared of the dog and the people complained, but always indirectly with reluctance. When Bojan was near the dog he got the feeling of being uncovered. He tried to avoid Kaiser, but they always crossed paths. When Bojan was 11 years, he found his own way to “tame” the dog. It started one day when Bojan pointed an empty gun at Kaiser and fired and finally the dog would obey. The dog began to whine and more often than not, the dog pissed itself.
- Find 3 quotations that have caught your attention and seem interesting or striking – your quotations should relate to characters and relationships in the story
- Something about Bojan’s excitement concerning the dog’s arrival has struck a chord with her, and she had taken him to study the breed catalogue at the library and to the butcher, so that Bojan himself could pick out the bones he would give the dog.
- He remembered it for years afterwards, the sensation of being uncovered, even though, at that time, he wasn’t covering anything up at all, wouldn’t know for years that there was anything he should be covering up.
- People complained, but always indirectly, with reluctance, usually at church and in ways that made their concerns seem more like observations than actual grievances. They knew Bojan’s father; they seemed to know better.
- Write a full paragraph in which you include your quotation. The paragraph should start by stating the point you want to make with the quotation – then the quotation itself – and finally the conclusion you can draw/comments you have on the basis of the quotation.
It almost seems as if the people in a way fear Bojan’s father or perhaps are afraid of him.
People complained, but always indirectly, with reluctance, usually at church and in ways that made their concerns seem more like observations than actual grievances. They knew Bojan’s father; they seemed to know better.
There is good reason to complain about Kaiser after he has scared the neighbor’s children, killed two of the neighborhood’s alley cats and probably have attacked an old dog that lived at the rest-home two blocks over. Most people would complain about it. They would complain directly and without reluctance, because many will see it as being grotesque that this dog can control the whole neighborhood. But in this case the people from the neighborhood always complaints indirectly and with reluctance. And in ways that it seem more like an observation than a complaint.
This seems very strange. It almost seems as if it is not okay for them to complain in this case, precisely because it is Bojan’s father who is the owner of the dog. It may be that they are afraid of Bojan’s father, perhaps because he has done something earlier in his life that makes people fear the worst if they get into a fight with him. But it might also be because it is not “fair” to complain about someone who has been in the military. That the people from the neighborhood should look at him as superior as he has fought for the country of origin.
The dog is also very different to Bojan’s father than it is to others. It is always eager but subdued, which is very similar to the people of the neighborhood’s behavior towards him. He seems very powerful without actually having to say anything. It also appears at the end of the story where he says, “sit” to Bojan and Bojan obeys without hesitation. The father is in the text described to have blue eyes, and a sort of glazed stare that went through you and out the other side.
It appears that Bojan may have a fear of dogs. Or is it only Kaiser?
He remembered it for years afterwards, the sensation of being uncovered, even though, at that time, he wasn’t covering anything up at all, wouldn’t know for years that there was anything he should be covering up.
Throughout the text there is a very strange relationship between Bojan and Kaiser. Bojan has for a long time been looking forward to the greeting with Kaiser and have already fantasized about how the dog with interested eyes would look into his plate and that they would go for long walks in the park after school. But when he sees Kaiser for the first time, the excitement is long gone. At the meeting he slipped instinctively behind his father. Furthermore, in the text we get to know that Bojan has never had a dog.
All of these things can quite easily indicate that Bojan has a fear of dogs. We are told that the housekeeper takes him to the library to study the breed catalogue. Bojan therefore knew how the dog would look like and probably also something about its behavior. Therefore, I think that Bojan might have it just as bad to be near another dog just like when he is near Kaiser.
This following quote may very likely show that the housekeeper not only serves as a housekeeper for Bojan but also has got a mother role.
Something about Bojan’s excitement concerning the dog’s arrival has struck a chord with her, and she had taken him to study the breed catalogue at the library and to the butcher, so that Bojan himself could pick out the bones he would give the dog.
In the text, we hear nothing about a mother. We only get to know that Bojan in the time where his father has been in military service has lived with the housekeeper Mrs. Senka. We do not get to know how long the father has been away, but it seems like the
father and Bojan doesn’t have a particularly good relationship. In the time where the father has been away, Bojan did only have the housekeeper. Considering Bojan’s age, he is still young and still needs at least one parent to look up to. For the quotation, it is clear that the housekeeper really cares about Bojan and not only is there to perform household chores. Later, the text says that the Mrs. Senka is beside herself when Bojan comes home after he was attacked by a group of boys. It affects her really much that he is hurt. Bojan rests his head on her shoulder and takes a wad of her hair between his fingers. It seems like they have a close relationship considered by Mrs. Senka’s actual role in the house. When Bojan gets home that night, his father just stand and look at him with anger and disappointment in his eyes. It is unknown if anything happened between Bojan and his father earlier that gives them a bad relationship. But it may also be due to the father is a very cold and harsh person who raise his son with a firm hand and who see it as an insult to him that Bojan has been attacked. That some of his glory was taken from him.