A Mother in Mannville Questions and Answers
by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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When Jerry arrives at the cabin for the first time in "A Mother in Mannville," the narrator's dog stops barking. Why?

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The story does not make it explicitly clear why the dog doesn't bark at Jerry the first time he approaches the cottage. The reader can interpret it as foreshadowing, however. When dogs that normally bark choose not to bark at people, it is a symbol of trust. The dog chose to trust Jerry, although the narrator starts out completely mistrustful of him. She questions his stature and doesn't believe that he can do the job, but she concedes to let him try—mostly because it's the fastest solution and she wants to get back to work.

When she goes to check his work, she is blown away by the amount of the wood that he has chopped. As he returns in the following days and chops more wood, this surprise only grows. Perhaps the narrator should have listened to her dog's instincts.

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