Literature Study GuidesA Dark Brown Dog

A Dark Brown Dog | Study Guide

Stephen Crane

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Course Hero. "A Dark Brown Dog Study Guide." Course Hero. 26 July 2019. Web. 27 Sep. 2023. <>.

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(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "A Dark Brown Dog Study Guide." July 26, 2019. Accessed September 27, 2023.


Course Hero, "A Dark Brown Dog Study Guide," July 26, 2019, accessed September 27, 2023,



Stephen Crane

Year Published



Short Story


Allegory, Tragedy

Perspective and Narrator

"A Dark Brown Dog" is written in an omniscient third-person perspective, with insight given into the thoughts and feelings of multiple relevant characters. The narrator editorializes through the use of poetic language, such as personification. A very young child conducts "interviews" with the dog, for example, and a small apartment is referred to as a "kingdom governed by this terrible potentate."


The story "A Dark Brown Dog" is written in the past tense.

About the Title

"A Dark Brown Dog" references the character of the dog at the center of the events of the story. The dog is also an allegorical representation of the hardships endured by freed slaves. The title reinforces the dog's position in the narrative while drawing attention to the social role of color at the time the story was written. Crane chose not to hyphenate "Dark Brown" in the title but does hyphenate the phrase "dark-brown" within the story, in the ordinary sense of an adjective describing the color of the dog's fur. The implication of Crane's not hyphenating the phrase in the title is that the dog stands for something more significant than a literal dog.


This study guide for Stephen Crane's A Dark Brown Dog offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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