Harlan Ellison Writing Styles in A Boy and His Dog

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Almost every element of "A Boy and His Dog" brings the dystopic setting to life. Dystopia is the opposite of utopia; it is a depiction of a world (usually in the future) that is bleak, emotionless, and harsh. Ellison utilizes descriptions of the physical world in addition to language, attitudes, and culture to fully relate the story's dystopic setting.

Ellison's descriptions of the physical landscape create a gloomy picture of post-World War III Earth. Vic mentions the "crumbled remains of the curb," the "melted stub of a lamppost," the "weed-overgrown craters," and the "empty corpses of blasted buildings." Inside the YMCA, Vic notices a stench coming from a pile of dead bodies that were never buried after the war.

Almost immediately, Ellison demonstrates Vic and Blood's severe language and attitudes. These characteristics are consistent throughout the story, reflecting their reaction to the hopeless world in which they live...

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This section contains 329 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Boy and His Dog Study Guide
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A Boy and His Dog from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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