Style of writing
The language used in the short story “Robert and the Dog” by Ken Saro-Wiwa is informal and helps readers understand what fuels Robert’s hatred towards Bingo.
The choice of words suggests that Robert has finally found a job that satisfies him. For example, words like “fulfillment”, “tremendous power”, “authority”, “happy”, “consideration”, and “grateful” highlight Robert’s content of finding an employer who shows him respect and who treats him like a human being.
When he realizes that Bingo is treated better than himself, Robert starts questioning the concept of humanity. Therefore, the rhetorical question “ ‘Who born dog?’ ” appears several times in the story, highlighting Robert’s belief that dogs are simple creatures that should be treated likewise:
On the third day, watching the dog lap his milk from a plate, a voice spoke to Robert. ‘Who born dog?’ And to this ponderous question, Robert could find no other answer than ‘Dog’. And the anger in him welled.
Metaphors and idioms
One of the metaphors that describe Robert’s initial relationship with the young doctor is “he holds the bachelor’s life in his hands”. Here, the metaphor suggests that, for Robert, tending to a...