Beware of the Dog

1. I have read the story Beware of the Dog by Roald Dahl - a short story presenting the fate of a British pilot during the World War II. The story starts in the sky at a “vast white undulating sea of cloud” and continues in a hospital room. The writer’s attention to the white clouds that limited pilot’s vision and the sun that “is never yellow when one looks at it from high in the air” is the allusion to a secret, something covered from the eyes, presented from wrong side. “The grey walls” create the mood of hopelessness while “green curtains over the window” is the green light to attract attention to something outside the room, something that can open this secret.

The theme of being yourself is the central theme of the story. Last lines only emphasize this theme -“My name is Peter Williamson” protagonist says pretending he will not renounce his position and beliefs.

To create a surprise ending (twist) Dahl uses foreshadowing introducing noise of German bomber planes and a fly on the ceiling moving like in a trap. It helped him to create a really surprising ending. Besides, it created dramatic mood for the entire story reflecting the tragedy of war events for entire humankind.

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Yes, I was surprised by the ending much. I did not expect that the hospital room could appear to be a sly German trap.
The story evoked a fear of war events that affect the life of individuals as well as the destiny of nations. On the other hand, protagonist’s firmness made me proud for people like Dahl’s character.

2. Alternative ending

"So this is France," he said. "I am France." The first wish was to jump out the window, but he understood that it was impossible even if he is not injured. He could hear some steps in the corridor and he quickly crawled back to the bed. The fair haired nurse came in a while carrying hot water to shave him. “They need me” Peter though.

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For three more days Peter pretended to be contusions to postpone the meeting with “Commander” and plan his escape. The morning of the fourth day was marked with noises in the corridors and outside the window. The nurse did not appear as usually and he was left alone in his room with the grey walls and green curtains over the window. The entire day he listened to the noise outside, but he did not hear a deep vibrating bass voice with a high pitched tenor of a JU-88. In the evening he dared to come to the window again to see the mess in the yard with the remains of the fire in its center as a sign of urgent evacuation. He was alone here in this countryside with a green hedge of the garden and the white washed sign in the middle of the hedge. For God’s sake, he was saved!

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