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Dog man grime and punishment
The following essay, "Dog Man," is by David Lipsky (from The American Scholar [Spring 2012]).
The American dog is a species apart. He has achieved a remarkable status as an individual, an individual who is a source of pride and joy to his owner and a creature who can bring immense satisfaction to the world. Dogs are generally valued for their utility, and for that reason, they are the subject of widespread affection and admiration, even among those who are critical of their species. This paper will examine how the dog has been understood in popular culture. A focus will be on the image of the dog that we see on TV, in movies, in literature, in popular music, and in advertising. It will examine whether these images can be said to represent a coherent or unified understanding of the dog, as a species, a culture, and as an individual. My conclusion is that, in some ways, they do.
Dogs have a long and complex history in the United States, going back to the original inhabitants of the country and continuing through the arrival of European explorers, the development of small rural towns, the expansion of cities, and the rise of the middle class. With the rise of the American middle class, people were no longer willing to share their lives with animals, preferring to keep dogs as pets, and, in many cases, as companions. However, there was also a significant change in how people thought about their dogs: no longer were they just pets, but also they were valued as family members. People did not see dogs as the property of a stranger, but as part of their own family. As the role of the family changed, so too did the relationship between the dog and the owner. The owner became more important to the dog, the dog became a source of pride for the owner. At the same time, owners began to realize the value that their pets added to their own lives, and, thus, began to value their pets as individuals.
Dogs were not always seen as members of the family. In fact, the very idea of family has always been a contested subject in the United States. During the nineteenth century, many families rejected the concept of marriage because they considered the idea of marrying a person of the same gender to be unnatural. This rejection of the idea of marriage in the early part of the century would eventually bring about the demise of the one institution that had always kept men and women united and would ensure that the family continued to exist. It also brought about the rise of divorce and the idea of the nuclear family. However, it did not end the idea of the family as a unit of people with a single common purpose, and the family was no longer just a collection of people related by blood, it was also a group of people related by love and friendship. This idea of family continued throughout the twentieth century, and the idea of the dog as a part of the family remained popular. However, in order to gain a better understanding of what happened during this time period, we will need to understand the role of the family, both at home and in society.
In The American Family: An Interpretation of the Present Conflict, William E. Leuchtenburg (1979) argues that the rise of the middle class in the nineteenth century and, in particular, the emergence of the nuclear family had a major impact on the formation of the American identity and the concept of family. The idea of the family as a unit of people who were united by blood or marriage began to wane in the nineteenth century. Instead, the family began to be defined as a unit of people who were united by love and friendship. At the same time, the family began to be valued not as a unit, but as a collection of individuals who had their own distinct personalities and their own set of individual interests. With the rise of the nuclear family, one person became a head of the family, and, as such, he or she was responsible for the behavior of all the members of the family. The members of the family could not act autonomously, but they had to submit to the will of the head of the family. The concept of the family was a unit, and members of the family had to act in a certain way, they could not, however, be allowed to be free-thinking individuals. This was one of the factors that led to the emergence of the idea of the American family: the members of the family were all free and equal, but their lives were constrained by their relationship to one another.
If we want to understand the way that people saw dogs, we need to be aware of the way that they viewed their families. As we have seen, in the nineteenth century, there was a decline in the number of people who saw dogs as family members. One of the reasons for this was the increasing number of middle-class families, and the way that the middle class saw the concept of family. It was not only that the idea of the family was becoming more restricted, the concept of the family was becoming more important to everyone. As the idea of the family grew, it became more and more difficult to define the idea of the family as just a collection of people related by blood. As the middle class began to become a dominant group in American society, the idea of the family became more important than ever, and the family began to play a greater role in the lives of everyone. The members of the family were, therefore, more restricted than ever before, and this brought about the end of the one institution that had always been important in American society. At the same time, though, the idea of family was not only growing, it was also becoming more important to the members of society as a whole. This created a sense of individual freedom for everyone, and a sense of community and family for the members of the family. This was what Leuchtenburg referred to as the growth of the American ideal of individuality and democracy, and it was one of the important characteristics of American society.
The image of the American dog changed as a result of the decline of the idea of the family. In the early part of the twentieth century, the American family was a unit, and the dog became part of the family. There were no restrictions