Why was merrylegs emblematic ?

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In Charles Dicken's Hard Times , the character Sissy Jupe's father, Signor Jupe, had once been so depressed at his declining performance as an acrobatic clown due to his declining health that he beat his loyal dog, Merrylegs, bloody. This distressing scene is used to evoke pathos in Dicken's audience for the emotional stresses of the working class poor. Sissy does her best to soothe her father's...

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