Narrator and point of view
The events presented in the short story “Robert and the Dog” by Ken Saro-Wiwa are told by a third-person narrator. The narrator is limited to Robert’s perspective and only shows readers the things that Robert feels and experiences. Robert’s point of view also offers some clues about Robert’s background and former jobs:
Robert’s new employer was a young medical doctor just returned from abroad. He was cheerful, exuberant and polite. It was obvious to Robert that he had not been in the country for a long time. Because he did not once lose his temper, he did not shout at Robert, he called him by his first name, and always asked him about his wife, children and other members of his family.
Here, Robert’s perspective suggests that his previous employers most likely mistreated him. Furthermore, Robert’s perspective also suggests that he sees marriage as one of the main reasons why men live a difficult life:
Robert was particularly happy in his new situation because the young man was carefree and happy. There was, as has been said, no wife breathing down Robert’s neck and limiting his abundant authority. There were no children whose nappies and numerous clothes had to be washed.
In this light, Robert sho...