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“I looked at Poppy the way I would look at my own heart- with confusion and gratitude. There were days when I burped her too hard, prayed for her to fall asleep. There were nights I couldn’t put her down, her fresh face burrowed into my body, hand around my finger. Mommy’s here, I said, though I felt like a fraud.”

Bergman encompasses her view of the animal/human relationship in “The Two-Thousand-Dollar Sock” in a way that is slightly different than in her other stories.  In all of her stories, animals are explained to be part of humans, their instincts embedded in us in ways that we relate to them and cherish them as companions in our lives.  However, this story suggests a much more gloomy outlook on the human/animal relationship in that we as humans look much weaker in our character than animals.  Vito, the dog, was dying of a blocked intestine due to the narrator’s sock being lodged in his intestine, and the owners simply could not save his life due to a lack of money. If a human was dying of the same cause, they would have given their life savings and monthly rent to save this life.  Vito did not get the same attention, and ironically, in the end, he leapt out of the screen porch to scare off a bear to save his family, who cannot save him.  This scene stuck with me and made me realize what Bergman was trying to accomplish with this story.  Animals do not understand that we, as humans, fail. They have a completely forgiving hearts, and regardless of the situations we put them in, they always have habitual responses when something threatens their family.  Humans are animals as well, but cannot look over fear. We cannot fend for ourselves because the fear of failure or death inhibits us from stepping forward.  Animals would die for their families, and humans stand by to watch their family die, as long as they survive; what a serious gap in evolution.

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