What is the conflict the family is facing in the beginning of the story?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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On one hand, there is an obvious conflict between mother and father with the presence of the dog.  The father is quite happy to receive the dog from Mr. Victor of the U.S. Counsel.  The mother is not as elated to see the dog, whom she sees as "nothing but trouble."  As the mother calls the dog, "perro sin verguenza," ("Dog without shame") the conflict arises in how the mother does not want the dog, while the father sees the dog as reflective of luck and the promise of going to America.

Within this conflict exists another one.  The father is very much excited and driven by the opportunity to go to the new world. He sees promise and possibility in his ability to continue his education in America as well as a new life for his children.  On the other hand, it becomes clear that mother has beginning to have second thoughts.  She is no longer as animated about the prospect of leaving her own country and settling in America. The presence of the dog is a reflection of the conflict that the mother and father have towards their impending move.

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