Sunstroke is a story about a puppy that watches its master behave weirdly and observes him slowly dying. It all started when the puppy, Old, was busking under the sun in the master's compound, when the puppy's father, Milk came and joined him. They continued enjoying the scorching heat from the sun and were later joined by their fellow dogs. Mr. Jones, the master, is seen waking up. After much staring, the dogs realized that Mister Jones is seated next to a tree trunk staring at Old. The dogs immediately sensed death. This paper illustrates how the theme of death is demonstrated in the story.
There are many signs that you can see a dying person. For starters, when Mister Jones woke up, he went outside the house and sat near the tree trunk. He was appeared less cheerful, and he did not talk much. The dogs were surprised to see him that way, and they immediately felt that their master is leaving them anytime soon. Sometimes a person may withdraw or be less special because they are mentally preparing for death. This is also the case of Mister Jones.
Another instance, Jones was a heavy drinker. But his dogs did not know that. He had drunk too much the previous night, and he did not feel like himself. More so, his everyday drinking jeopardized his health. A heavy drinker at his age, of course, would be dying slowly. But just like the usual wild dogs, they could not notice that Mister Jones was a massive drunkard. This is illustrated on page 15 in the first paragraph, "he was still bleary-eyed and droopy lipped after his more than usually prolonged solitary evening of drinking. As he washed, the dogs approached and lazily wagging their tails, sniffed his boots. Like wild animals that have become tame, dogs know the least sign of their master's drunkards".
At times sometimes who is dying may turn out to be restless, confused or anxious. This confusion and disorientation is also called delirium. People with delirium may not know their loved ones or friends, what day it is, or where they are. Some individuals may see or speak things that others cannot see, or start to worry about things. They may try to get out of bed or shift around in bed more. A person with delirium may make jerking movements with their legs or arms, which they cannot control. They may also lose control of their bladder or bowels. Luckily for Mr. Jones, he was aware of his loved ones, which are his dogs. But he was worrying too much about his farm. He wanted to get things done, and he wanted to finish it that day. After going to the firm, he started feeling unwell. The head rash and loss of sight, he could not even notice that he walked for 30 minutes without even realizing it. Coming to terms with his condition, he started to trace his way back to the house before fainting or falling on the ground. The dogs noticed it and became more fearful and sad that their master is dying.
Reducing social interactions is also a sign of death. Mr. Jones did not seem to have any friends. He just lived with his dogs. More so, Mister Jones did not have a wife. He must be a very lonely man. But what is more, he did not care much about his dogs at that time. His mind was occupied with so many things. He was confused and did now know what he wanted. He even did not go outside to interact with his neighbors. A dying man becomes less social day by day, and that was how Mr. Jones was behaving.
Intense feelings of sadness from the dogs are also another indicator that Jones was dying. For starters, animals sense danger. They can tell if a human is sad or happy. They can even predict the weather. It is not a shock that they imagined their master was soon dying immediately they stopped glaring at the company and so him seated by the tree. They knew that he had had his share of living and it was about time. The dogs we worried that if their master died, they would become homeless or get a new master that would take care of them. Their love for Mr. Jones was unhidden, and they could not help but worry.
Dead is also represented by the horse. The horse came home with his head facing down indecisive about its next move. As soon as it started approaching, the dogs backed as they felt death approaching. The horse had marks on its body as it was severely beaten. Mister Jones watched it die, as it fell just right beside him. It was such a relief as it was the horse that represented that death instead of the master. The dogs, as well as Mister Jones, were relieved and they started worrying less.
Fighting death itself is another sign of death represented in this story. Having a relief that he was not going to die, Mister Jones ignored the fact that he was not feeling well and sharpened his hoe to go to the farm. Page 20 of the sunstroke describes how he tries to fight death and convincing himself that he was in a good health condition, " to the burning heat that had increased without ceasing for three days was no added the suffocation of disordered time. The sky was burning white; not a breath of air stirred. Mister Jones gasped for air, the pain in his heart so strong it hurt to breathe. Mister Jones realized he had exceeded his limits. For some time he had heard the pounding of his heart in his ears. He felt dizzy as if some pressure inside his head were pushing his skull outward. When he looked at the grass, he grew dizzy. He hurried forward to reach his house and get out of the sun. And then suddenly came to and found himself in a completely different place; completely unaware, he has walked a quarter-mile. He looked around and again felt a new wave of vertigo". The dogs followed him quickly. They could sense that something was wrong with Mister Jones. Upon seeing him, Old yelled loudly that it was death. The other dogs saw this, and they started barking. Mister Jones collapsed right before reaching to his house.
The story about death is that there is always sadness that loved ones have to endure. In this case, the loved ones are the master's dogs. Another thing about death is that if someone was responsible for taking care of their loved ones, they are either left homeless, or people have to share the responsibility of taking care of them. In this case, the Indians took the dogs and took care of them, although sometimes the dogs slept hungry, which is so sad.
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Horacio Quiroga "Sunstroke" Essay. (2022, Mar 29). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/horacio-quiroga-sunstroke-essay
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