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Tom Edison's Shaggy Dog

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Emily Yosi

on 11 November 2015

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Transcript of Tom Edison's Shaggy Dog

"Tom Edison's Shaggy Dog"
Journal Question
Do you believe that dogs, or any species other than humans, could possibly be more intelligent than us?
Plot Pyramid
Visual Aid
By Kurt Vonnegut
Overall Meaning
Jamie DiLeonardo, Taylor Donahue, Shannon Gralish, Emily Yosi, Don Zagrocki
Falling Action
The Stranger proceeds to explain that the other dogs killed sparky because he informed people that dogs are smart enough to talk.
Animals are underestimated by Human arrogance. People claim to be the most intelligent being on the planet, but animals live the easiest and most luxorious life, given to them for free by their human companions.
Buller realizes the story is false. The stranger gives the dog the plastic from his pants and walks away.
" 'Pretty soft, isn't it, Sparky?' said Edison. 'Let somebody else worry about getting food, building shelters and keeping warm...no mortgages, no politics, no war, no work, no worry. Just wag the old tail or lick a hand, and you're all taken care of.' "
Harold Bullard, who enjoys sharing his life story with strangers, sits next to new stranger in the park and begins to tell the man his life story. Bullard's dog begins to annoy the stranger by knawing at his feet.
Rising Action
In the strangers story they test the device on Edison's dog Sparky. They discover the dog is smarter than Edison himself. Suddenly, Sparky speaks and tells Edison how to create the lightbulb.
The stranger begins to tell Bullard a story about his neighbor's, Thomas Edison, invention, intellegence analyzer.
“‘You can bet I was scared,’ said the stranger.’I thought I was face to face with Satan himself. Edison had wires hooked to his ears and running down to a little black box in his lap! I started to scoot, but he caught me by my collar and made me sit down.’”
Analyze the author's word choice in portraying the stranger as a dog.

'"I said, "Mr. Edison, sir, lets try it on the dog." And I wish you could have seen the show that the dog put on when I said it! Old Sparky barked and howled and scratched to get out. When he saw we meant business, that he wasn't going to get out, he made a beeline right for the intellegence anaylzer and knocked it out of Edison's hands."'
This passage foreshadows Sparky's secret, that dogs are more intelligent than humans, by his refusal to be tested by the analyzer and his despiration to get out.
Edison acts as though the stranger is a dog
Generally shows how humans act toward dogs
Makes it seem like the stranger is a dog
The author's word choice allows the reader to understand how humans treat dogs. His actions put the stranger in a dog's perspective. The stranger seems to not be as smart as Edison, so Edison treats him as he would a dog.
" 'Look Mr. Edison,' said Sparky, 'why not keep quiet about this? It's been working out to everybody's satisfaction for hundreds of thousands of years. Let sleeping dogs lie. You forget all about it, destroy the intelligence analyzer, and I'll tell you what to use for a lamp filament.' "

The literary technique is Personification.

The purpose is to portray Sparky's intelligence, which enhances the theme of animals having secret cleverness and superiority over humans.
Evaluate the stranger's quote to Bullard's dog: "A small token of esteem, sir, for an ancestor of yours who talked himself to death." What is the literary technique shown here?
This quote shows verbal irony. It parallels Tom Edison's dog, Sparky, who reveals animals secret intelligence, which leads to his death, to the blabbering Bullard who annoys strangers with his life stories that kill his companionship with people.
Why do you think the
stranger told Bullard the false story about Thomas Edison's dog, Sparky?
The stranger was annoyed by Bullard and
his dog. The stranger decided to make up
a story to deceive Bullard and to entertain himself also. The stranger made up a story about how Thomas Edison used an intelligence analyzer on his dog, Sparky, to make him smarter than a human. Sparky told Edison about the invention of the light bulb, which led to Edison's fame.
"Go electronic young man! said Bullard. Don't talk to me about opportunities anymore. Opportunity's knocking down every door in the country, trying to get in. When I was young, a man had to go out and find opportunity and drag it home by the ears."
Literary element: Personification
This passage is personification because Bullard explains how people had to drag opportunities home by the ears. The purpose of this passage is to explain how back in that time period, there were not many career opportunities when Bullard was young because of lack of inventions until Edison invented how to use electricity for light. Electricity opened up many choices for careers back in that time period.
"That Sparky was a Caution. He pretended not to hear. He scratched himself and bit fleas and went around growling at ratholes, anything to get out of looking edison in the eye."
The Literary techniques shown in this passage are Foreshadowing and Imagery. Sparky trying to avoid Edison Foreshadows a conflict and there is Imagery because Sparkys action emphasizes his condition and emotions.
Analize Bullards reaction to the Story told by the stranger.
"Hogwash! said Bullard, his face purple."
The Authors use of the word "Hogwash" represents Bullards Disbelief in the Strangers story. His Purple face emphasizes Bullards Frustration.
Analyze one theme the author creates involving truth.
Vonnegut is telling the readers that truth is not always positive, and disscoveries we make can be harmful. He shows this through Edison's discovery resulting in Sparky's death.
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