From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Rabid Dog

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Normally, we love dogs. We're the kind of people who end up squealing on a semi-daily basis, "Oooh, cute dog!" Send us a corgi video, and you're sending us happiness.

But, Their Eyes Were Watching God makes us reconsider our whole pro-dog stance. (For all of 30 minutes, but still.)

Because the dog in this novel is a symbol of a hate so vicious that it stops at nothing to lash out at another living being, it's blind to who it hurts. For Hurston, the concept of hate is so frightening and so unnatural that not even a savage animal is enough to convey it; this creature must be twisted in some vital way. In this case, the dog is afflicted with rabies.

Be afraid. Be very afraid of dogs with rabies...especially when they're symbolic.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...