Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend

The Stranger, a novel by Albert Camus, focuses on a strange relationship between Salamano, an old man, and his dog, who suffers from mange. People say that dogs often look like their owners, this is one of those cases. In the story, Camus explains, “They look as if they belong to the same species, and yet they hate each other” (27). This comes as a bit of a shock because you would expect them to have a great bond, especially if they look similar. But as you later learn, Salamano beats and swears at his dog (27).

However, this relationship of terror, from the dog, and hatred, from Salamano, is flipped upside down in the following chapters. Later, the dog is lost and the reader learns that Salamano got the dog to cure his loneliness after his wife died. He would rub his dog with ointment every day twice a day and said, “He was a good dog” (45). This gives the reader more insight into their relationship and spins the perspective from an abusive and negative relationship to a loving and caring one.

Whether Salamano connects his dog to his late wife or as a life long companion, we do not know. But, Salamano does care greatly for his dog and is heavily concerned when it is missing. Although, Salamano shows his affection in a non-healthy way, abuse.

8 thoughts on “Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend

  1. SOFIA BRAVO

    I really enjoyed that you wrote about this relationship in the story because I was so stricken by Meursault’s character that I did not pay as much thought to the relationship between Salamano and his dog. I also think it is very interesting how in the beginning chapters, the only perspective we as readers got on Salamano and his dog was that he hated the dog and often abused it but like you said this perception was completely flipped on its head in the later chapters when we read that Salamano actually loved his dog and was comforted by its presence that cured his loneliness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TIARA O

    I think that is interesting how Salamano only shows his affection after his dog is lost. It seems like one of the situations where you do not know the value of something until it is gone. I like how you identified how the dog was a solution to Salamano’s loneliness after the death of his wife. It seems like Salamano’s hurt and loneliness was demonstrated through his abuse towards his dog. I wonder if Salamano’s situation can be compared to or even a symbol of Mersault’s struggle/experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nick W.

    It is interesting how Salamano changed so drastically after he lost his dog. Do you think he would keep abusing the dog if it were to somehow return or would he instantly forget how much he needs the dog once he has it? In other words, has Salamano had a change of heart or not?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kianna G.

      Good question! I feel like he might have had a change of heart and realized that he truly loves his dog. I like to hope that if the dog returned, Salamano would treat his dog better and they would have a great relationship. However, this is a fantasy and unrealistic.

      Like

  4. Tao Tao S.

    I think relationships are extremely strange and how they form are even weirder. How you choose a friend or a pet and spend time with them and use your own money for their happiness( activities with friends, food and bed for dog).

    I think that a lot of times people do not appreciate a relationship to the fullest extent without the fear of losing the relationship or the actual loss of it. Salamano takes the dog for granted until he loses it. I believe that Salamano can cherish the relationship and is grateful for it like how you stated when he put ointment on the dog twice a day, but did not expect for the disappearance of the relationship. When people become too comfortable with a relationship, you tend to act more “aggressive” after an established commitment to each other. Salamano treated his dog poorly and then the dog vanished. Salamano was not expecting that to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alex P

    I really enjoyed this post because the passages focused on Salamano and his dog, were some of the most interesting to me. Salamano is abusive toward and hates his dog, however when it goes missing, he is incredibly worried. I was surprised that the book and Meursault haven’t analyzed their relationship further because I think it could be representetive of possible feelings Meursault has about his mother.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. VIVIAN S

    I think the relationship between Salamano and his dog, is easily one of the most intriguing aspects of the story. Through the eyes of Meursault, the reader is able to create their own opinion at the beginning of Salamano as an owner. This is one of the few things that I like about Camus’ writing. He allows the reader to come up with their own idea because the narrator is unbiased.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jeremy B

    I enjoyed this post because it made me reflect on the story we’re reading. It’s interesting how Salamano cared about his dog only when it was missing. I saw it as his own reflection on how he treated his dog, that he should’ve treated it better. The disappearance of his dog leads Salamono to express guilt and shame. Albert Camus chose to show loss only through this relation, and not the one between Meursault and his mother. I wonder why that is?

    Liked by 1 person

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