Literary plays allow readers to immerse themselves in situations describing characters and their actions in detail. “Love That Dog” written by Sharon Creech is a work illustrating the touching story of little schoolboy Jack. Based on the plot of the play, it is evident that Creech uses a simple style, which, at the same time, encourages reflection on the story’s essence. The plot describes the boy who tragically lost his dog and who refuses to show a desire to fulfill his teacher’s tasks. It seems to be an attempt to convey the idea that deep worries may be experienced by everyone, including children. In one of the significant scenes where Jack decides to express his opinion about the poems read, he says the following: “especially I like the dog” (Creech, 16). From this point on, the reader learns about the background of the whole story and understands the anxieties of the boy who feels the sense of loss. I believe that this part is one of the most important in the play since Jack’s words show sadness, which he did not dare to demonstrate earlier.
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Another significant piece of Creech’s play is an invitation that Jack sends to the poet Walter Dean Myers and asks him to come to school (55). “You don’t want to hear from me because I am only a boy” – these words, I believe, allow readers to understand that Jack seeks to find a listener to whom he can entrust his sadness (Creech 55). Despite the uncertainty of whether the writer will answer him or not, the student tries to express his feelings and demonstrates courage. I understand this willingness to share personal sorrow with an unknown person in an attempt to receive answers. In this part of the play, it is clear that Jack is not ready to hide his feelings and is happy to share them with someone who, in his opinion, can understand him. It seems to me that it was from that moment on that the main character felt an urgent need to express his emotions in a letter. Further, his experiences are reflected in quite long poems, for example, “My Sky,” which are not typical for an eleven-year-old boy (Creech 68).
Finally, I suppose that the most significant part of the play is Jack’s letter to Mr. Myers with gratitude where he addresses him with the following words: “thank you a hundred million times” (Creech 82). I believe that the poet’s coming and the meeting with the boy is a turning point for Jack. This event gives the student a chance to share his anxiety about the lost dog with someone who, in his opinion, has great talent and, consequently, authority. Creech’s ability to convey a relatively simple and, at the same time, touching style of Jack’s writing helps to assess the depth of feeling that the author has put into her play. In general, the idea of describing the tragic events from the child’s point of view seems to be a very bold decision that, nevertheless, has been implemented successfully. I am sure that the ending of the play allows the reader to understand that although Jack is still sad after losing a friend, he also feels relieved. The adult and the respected person understands the boy’s anxiety and is ready to give support, and this result indicates a positive conclusion.
Creech, Sharon. Love That Dog. Bloomsbury, 2001.