Inhumanity

“I really came back my master’s to summon whatever humanity was in him. If he were really human, wouldn’t he have punished his murderer of a son? If he were a man! And what of his son? If he had even the littlest piece of a man in him, wouldn’t he have faced up to the accusing gaze of the dog that I am?”

This passage is one that stuck with me because the dog is literally questioning the humanity of man based on his ability to do good and punish injustice. I thought this passage was ironic because in my opinion what makes someone human is the tendency to be imperfect and not necessarily do the right things at all times. I was interested in knowing where the dog got his impressions of humanity. However it is understandable because till you see human beings inhumanity it is hard to imagine that such an advanced species would be able to act in a brutal way towards one another and other living creatures.

In reading this passage I thought about the first time I was learning about World War two. I remember my teacher saying it was the most brutal example of mans inhumanity to man. For the first time I realized humans aren’t as perfect and compassionate and they claim to be. This is something the dog had failed to realized. He was yet to see human beings acting evil so when this inhumanity was done to him for the first time he was shocked about it at he expressed his disbelief in the above quote. There are no moral guidelines that make someone human or inhuman. Humans have both good and bad tendencies. In Dog Days we see that these bad tendencies are more exaggerated in times of suffering. Even looking at history, human beings tend to act in more irrational ways in times of suffering and confusion.

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Posted on October 30, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This was an insightful blog post regarding the in/humanity experienced throughout Dog Days, thank you! This particular quote definitely stuck with me while reading as well. I agree with you when you say this is the first experience Mboudjak has with humans being hurtful instead of compassionate towards him and towards each other. I would argue however, that an additional irony presented by this passage is the fact the people’s humanity is being called into question by a dog and not by the people themselves. Additionally, it is being called into question by a dog who does not have the ability to voice his thoughts and observations to the people it truly concerns. I see this as a possible representation of the political climate (as seen by the West at least) in Cameroon at the time, where the people living there are experiencing social and economic difficulties and their ‘problems’ can only be fully observed and possibly ‘solved’ by an outside third party (the West).

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