Andre Alexis’s Fifteen Dogs depicts the human and canine realms colliding in a fascinating social experiment. The author describes a bunch of dogs that Greek Gods have given human intellect. Readers follow the canines as they battle to repress or adjust to human-like traits in an emotionally compelling story. Fifteen Dogs should be taught to high school students since Alexis touches on the most controversial subjects, such as progress, spirituality, happiness, and impending death.
Andre Alexis’s Fifteen Dogs
Fifteen Dogs is symbolic in nature, describing how humans connect and organize themselves. Some dogs, just like humans, adapted to a new way of thinking, while others try to are pleased with their immediate progress. For instance, the pack’s leader, Atticus, states that “this new thinking leads away from the pack, but a dog is no dog if he does not belong” (Alexis 32). Nonetheless, some dogs, namely Majnoun and Prince, managed to escape and continue developing their gift. Thus, these new thinkers are examples of the progress that may benefit society even when it fears the change. The quote is significant because it illustrates the society’s fear of welcoming change describing the split between dogs’ opinions. Fifteen Dogs emphasizes fundamental insights into human nature by imbuing animals with consciousness and morality. Humanity’s greatest gift is the power to create new knowledge, ways of thinking, and communication.
One of the most central themes of Fifteen Dogs is the meaning of happiness. The dogs die one by one, fully aware of their mortality and language extinction. Love is crucial for making lives meaningful: “In his final moment on earth, Prince loved and knew that he was loved in return” (Alexis 188). Alexis makes it evident that the values of love are at the heart of a fulfilling life and happiness. Love is the most powerful feeling that gives human lives purpose and significance. Prince’s final thoughts demonstrated that without love, life has no sense. Fifteen Dogs helps readers consider the purpose of life and what it means to be truly happy.
In conclusion, due to the novel’s significant content and debates, Fifteen Dogs should be taught to high school students. When the gods intervene, the dogs’ existence is irrevocably altered. Each dog in the narrative serves as an example of how to think about and experience life. Alexis describes tremendous concepts, such as progress, happiness, love, and death, and is concerned about philosophical challenges that can experience by any human.
Alexis, Andre. Fifteen Dogs. Coach House Books, 2015.