Character Analysis of Puppy by George Saunders

Character Analysis of Puppy by George Saunders

Character Analysis of Puppy by George Saunders has two main characters in this story.


Josh and Abbie are children of Marie children and Robert is Marie’s husband.


Bo is a child of Callie and Jimmy her husband.

Both women do everything to pleasing their family members and take no action to please themselves.

Detail of Marie

  • Type of character

Marie is the protagonist of the story but antagonist toward Callie.

Static character – Marie is a static character

  • Conflict/struggle

Internal conflict

The relation between Marie and her mother is not perfect because her mother didn’t love her and she is not as happier as other children of her age so she tries to fulfill every desire of her children as they don’t feel the same.

External conflict

She is not able to buy the puppy for her children and she earns their disappointment.

  • The trait of the character

Marie values the affection and tenderness that were absent in the relationship between her and her mother.  Therefore, she is insistent on being a caring and supportive presence in her children’s life. In addition, Marie is also hypersensitive to relationships that do not appear to embody her impression of the family.


Marie is more upper class than Callie. Mari is a monologue by characterizing as she says her caretaker.  But in the end, she accepts this idea that she is a happier person. For the happiness of her family, she plans a trip.


Marie tries to stay positive, as characters in Saunders always do, but she flees in her Lexus when she sees Callie’s son, Bo, chained to a tree in the yard. Marie felt a connection to Bo because they both did live an unhealthy childhood.

Detail of Callie

Type of character

Callie can be considered as the protagonist of the story.

She is around the character

  • Conflict/struggle

Internal conflict

She deals inward battle in trying to be a good parent and doing things to help her kid get better.

She often places herself in denial where she becomes indecisive in her decision making.

External conflict

After her offer is rejected she feels the need to kill the puppy herself saving it from her husband Jimmy the despair of making him take the life of the puppy.

She must also find a way of dealing with low income and her problematic son.

  • The trait of the character

Callie, however, lives in a very different world. She is financially week than Marie. Callie cannot buy her son videogames or a gaming console; because she can only create something fun out of what she already owns in the yard. Instead of escaping into a videogame, her son must escape into his surroundings and make it his own “whole new world.” Callie is so controlled by her financial situation; she does not even recognize the brand of Marie’s car, only that it is expensive.

Bring a happier life

Callie is aware of the negative aspects of her life. She continually reminds herself of the positive things, commenting on her son’s smile and the beautiful sun.


Both love their family but understanding love in a different way. Marie can manipulate her son’s behavior by getting him a video game but Callie’s situation is more difficult. Bo is a danger to himself when given free roam outdoors but hates being kept indoors. Callie’s solution is to chain him to a tree. This is how love exists in Callie’s world. Loving those around you for who they are and trying to make them realize their full potential.



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