*Sample CR Intro. & Body Paragraph ("The Last Dog")

Lisa Bernstein



“The Last Dog” Essay

“The Last Dog” by Katherine Paterson is about a futuristic version of Earth.    In this new society, people live inside a dome and are afraid of what might exist outside. One resident of the dome expresses curiosity, however, he’s afraid of how he might be perceived.   As the events unfold, it becomes clear that this futuristic version of Earth is a negative one.   

One way the future is portrayed as negative is through the lack of traditional family structures.   After coming across the mother dog and her puppy, Brock reflects on family life within the dome.    Brock relates, “Mothers were extinct in the dome.   Children were conceived and born in the lab...Nuclear families, as everyone knew, had been wasteful of time, energy, and space” (lines 160-164).   This shows the future as a negative one because all of the benefits of a family have been erased, along with the negatives.    True, families can fight and have strife, but there are many benefits to families these people are missing out on. They don’t get to experience love, support, and the affection one can get from a family. Being efficient is not always the best way to live.    Perhaps if the people in the dome had the support of a family, they would have been able (together) to overcome their fear of the outside world & discover that the resources they desperately needed were abundant outside.