In The Zoo Story, what is the meaning of Jerry and the dog?

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The Zoo Story is almost humorous in the absurd lengths to which Jerry goes to deal with the dog. The dog, which is owned by Jerry’s landlady, always tries to attack Jerry upon entering the house, so he decides to take some action about it. Vacillating between trying to befriend it and attempting to kill it, he fails repeatedly in affecting the dog’s actions. Regardless of what he does, the dog maintains its distaste for him, continuing to attack him daily.

The meaning behind this story is about the futility of Jerry’s actions and, by extension, our own. In the story, regardless of what Jerry does, the dog treats him the same. In much the same way, the author attempts to show that, regardless of our actions, we live in a cold and impersonal world that causes suffering and pain, while also doling our joy and happiness on occasion. But in the end, we can do nothing to influence these events.

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"The Story of Jerry and the Dog" is about Jerry's desperate attempt to connect with his...

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