Summary of “All about a dog”

Book Name : Bliss English Textbook For Class IX Second Language
Subject : Bliss
Class : 9th (Madhyamik/WB)
Publisher : Prof. Nabanita Chatterjee
Chapter Name : All about a dog (2nd chapter)

About the author

Alfred George Gardiner, also known as ‘Alpha of the Plough’, was a prominent British journalist and author. He was born in 1865 and passed away in 1946. Gardiner was known for his unique style of writing, which blended humour with insightful observations on human behaviour. His essays were widely read and admired for their ability to convey basic truths of life in an engaging and accessible manner. Some of his most popular works include The Pillars of Society, Pebbles on the Shore, Many Furrows, and Leaves in the Wind.

(90 words)

Introduction of the story

In this text, which is an edited version of Gardiner’s essay of the same name, the author observes how a bus conductor makes a lady go up to the uncovered top of a double-decker bus on a freezing evening just because she is carrying a dog. While watching the incident and its reaction among other passengers, the author wonders whether rules should be tempered with goodwill in order to make them more humane.

(70 words)

Summary of the story

All about a dog

The story is about a woman who travels on a bus with her Pekinese dog, and the bus conductor has a problem with the dog. The conductor orders the woman to take the dog out of the bus, but she refuses. The conductor then stops the bus and refuses to continue until the dog is removed. The passengers on the bus side with the woman and her dog, and they demand that the conductor give them their fares back. A police officer comes and observes the situation, but he is unable to intervene. Eventually, the woman agrees to go to the top of the bus with her dog, and the bus continues on its journey. However, the bus develops engine trouble and the conductor has to go and help the driver. While he is doing this, the woman sneaks back onto the bus with her dog. When the engine is fixed, the conductor sees the dog again and the whole situation repeats itself. Eventually, the bus is empty and the last passenger, the narrator, talks to the conductor and tells him that rules are necessary, but they should be observed in the spirit, not the letter and that he should use his common sense and goodwill.

(200 words)

The theme of the story

The story “All About a Dog” by A.G. Gardiner is about the problem of sticking too strictly to rules versus showing understanding and kindness. The story shows how a bus conductor insists on following a rule that makes a woman and her dog go to the top of a freezing bus, even though it’s not safe or comfortable. The story shows how sometimes rules can cause problems and that it’s important to be kind and flexible. The story suggests that rules should be used as a guide, but sometimes we need to use our common sense and be compassionate.

(100 words)

Characters of the story

Bus conductor:  The bus conductor in “All About a Dog” is a stubborn and cold person who enforces the rules, even when they harm or inconvenience passengers. He seems to have a vague problem with everything and a specific problem with passengers sitting on the bus while he shivers at the door. He insists on making the lady with the dog go to the uncovered top of the bus on a freezing evening, despite her protests and the protests of other passengers. He appears to enjoy his moment of victory and walks back and forth like a captain. However, he is willing to listen to reason and change his behaviour when he hears a persuasive argument.

Woman with dog:  The woman with the dog is a determined and caring individual who refuses to let her dog suffer in the cold. She stands up for what she believes is right and is willing to challenge the conductor’s authority to ensure the safety and well-being of her furry companion.

Conclusion of the story

In the end, the bus conductor may have won the battle, but he lost the respect of the passengers. The incident highlighted the conflict between strict adherence to rules and the importance of empathy and compassion. The author wonders whether rules should be tempered with goodwill to make them more humane. While rules are necessary, they should be interpreted and applied with good judgment and kindness. Ultimately, the conductor learned this lesson and accepted the author’s advice. The incident serves as a reminder that rules should not be rigidly enforced at the expense of human dignity and well-being.

(100 words)

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