Reflection & commentary of

           the significance of the event


                  Evaluate development of theme

A dog can bring a family closer together. That is the theme of Marley & Me. The theme develops when John and Jenny Grogan purchase a new Labrador retriever. The newly weds think that it will be practice for raising children and it soon proves true. Marley is an out of control dog and takes more effort to raise then their children do by the time they have them.

                     Examine social & political issues

John Grogan has to write a story about nine eleven at one point in the book. Two years after the event John visits the crash site of flight 93 to get in formation about his article. He does his best to capture the effect the event had on America. As crowds gather at the impromptu memorial. John interviews as many people as he can and leaves very emotional about what happened that day.

Dog beach is a section of beach where dogs can go and swim. Pets are banned everywhere else along the beach. There are certain unwritten rules of dog beach such as  leashing aggressive dogs, owners had to clean up the waste of their dogs, pet owners should arrive with fresh drinking water for their animals, and to walk your dog before it entered the water so it would not use it for a bathroom. There are people who want the beach closed off from animals. John writes an article promoting the beach in hopes that it will help it from closing. Unfortunately the beach closes anyway.



                 Character analysis

John Grogan is a protagonist, Marley is his antagonist. Marley is always getting into trouble and Grogan labels him "The worlds worst dog" Page 169: "when the columnist has fun the reader has fun" John Grogan seems to know how he appears to others because be is a writer and used to reading people. Grogans Florida society is different from mine in Iowa because of a higher crime rate, beaches are always close by, and the weather is definitely warmer. Page 114 "they both looked desperate for their next hit off a crack pipe.” Harold?" one of them asked me. "Nope" I said but what i was thinking was, do you really think some guy would show up for anonymous sex and bring his Labrador retriever along?" Based upon the story john seems to be a funny laid back guy. I would classify him as a round character. He is always joking about his dog’s bad behavior and even covering up for him. page 137: " when he crashed through our small home, the bull in our china closet, I followed behind him straightening throw rugs, righting coffee tables, and wiping up the spittle he flung off the walls, before jenny discovered it." john Grogan is more of a dynamic character because he transforms from a "do what ever I want" kind of guy to a responsible father of three. He learns to appreciate life more by the books end. Grogan is a family man who loves his dog. He spends as much time with his dog and family as possible. Environment has created john Grogan character because he loves to garden so much, He even moves from Florida to Pennsylvania to work for a columnist at a gardening magazine. Jenny is John’s wife and it is shown through the book that she thinks highly of him, but not as much as his lovable dog Marley.

                  Examine Style

The book is put together by anecdotes and flashbacks, because it is looking back on experiences and memories of Marley. “Liposuction and silicone is a girl’s best friend in Boca Raton.” John uses local color often when describing Boca Raton, the suburb where he resides for a period in the book. He uses a lot of metaphors and satire when describing Boca Raton. Page 164 “Boca Raton is a land of luxury sedans, red sports cars, pink stucco mansions crammed on to postage-stamp lots and balkanized walled developments with guards at the front gates. Page 162 “Her rock hard, surgically enhanced breasts jutting into the steering wheel allowing her to steer hands-free, talking on her cell phone and teasing her frosted hair in the rearview mirror as she raced to the tanning salon.” Foreshadowing and suspense are more writing styles Grogans uses through out his book to tell the reader that Marley will die. The suspense style is used because Marley is such a lovable character the reader hopes it’s not true. Page 264 “I pulled his head up and made him look into my eyes. Your going to tell me when its time right?”



Marley & Me is told by John Grogan, the author. john tells a story about his out of control dog from first person  point of view. in the book  Grogan talks about how his job as a columnist, his children, his wife jenny, and most of all his pain in the neck dog. The theme of the story becomes about Marley and how the brought his family together.

                         Identify literary elements

             Evaluate development of plot

The setting of Marley & Me begins in Florida and then changes to Pennsylvania. Characters include the Grogan family John, Jenny, Patrick, Collin, Colleen, and of course Marley. The situation is a growing family with a dog in the middle who is not making anything easier. Marley’s behavior becomes the conflict. John Grogan is the protagonist and Marley is the antagonist. Human vs. Nature begins when newly weds john and jenny pick out their puppy, as they leave a crazy beast goes tearing through the yard, it happens to be Marley’s father. This rising action foreshadows how Marley will act through out the book. The new puppy’s co-dependant personality shines the night john brings him home when he refuses to sleep alone in the garage. Marley gets expelled from obedience school early on in the book and this behavior leads to the climax of the story. Marley tears part anything he comes close to, costing the Grogans a fortune. Falling action begins to take place when Marley gets older. He becomes deaf and slows down in his old age. The point of the story or the resolution takes place after Marley’s death. The death of their wild but much loved dog makes the Grogans realize even if he was a bad dog he taught them to have fun.

                     Evaluate development of setting

 The setting in Marley and Me is used to tell the characters about the story. The family seems to move until the can find a place that suits their personalities. The story starts out in West Palm-Beach Florida where the crime rate is high, but that is not the kind of place the Grogans want to raise children. This becomes a problem with their growing family. They then move to the up-scale Florida area of Boca Raton. The “preppy” neighborhood is not some where his family fits in and John mocks Boca Raton often in his articles. It is also no place for an out of control dog that could easily swallow most of the other dogs residing there. Pennsylvania seems to be the perfect place for the Grogans. Their new home has large space for Marley and the kids to play. The children love the snow and the snow also gives John an excuse to miss work often. They are able to have chickens and lots of gardening room.

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