While most stories rely on the character's action and dialog to bring meaning and a theme to the story, Martin Amis seems to take another approach in his new novel "Yellow Dog.
" The characters, though representing themselves, also find a way to to represent something more along the way. Though we are introduced to a plethora of characters, I will be focusing on the three I feel are the most important. These characters are Xan Meo, Henry IX, and Clint Smoker. When reading the novel “Yellow Dog”, the reader watches a loving husband and father, Xan, get attacked within the first couple pages of the novel.
After sustaining a head injury, Xan slowly becomes a modern day cave man. At the surface, one could simply see this as someone suffering from a head injury, but one could dig deeper to see that Xan's a representation of men in general. He is fighting to find his identity in the 20th century. Part of him is trying to be the understanding husband and father that society wants while another part of him wants to surrender to the primal urge of his gender.
He wants to dominate and take what is his. Sadly, Xan falls to his urges when he forces himself onto his wife, Russia, and “invades” her. Not only that, but Xan begins eying his daughter, Billie, as if she is prey. This represents the hunter within Xan that wants to get out.By the end of the novel, Xan shows signs of reverting back to the way he was before his accident, which this once again reinforces the concept of men not knowing their identity within our culture. Like Xan, males are constantly questioning how they should act. Though Xan is a fascinating study within the book, he isn't the only one worth noting.
The King of England, Henry the IX, is seen as a bumbling king who is stricken with boredom. We can simply acknowledge this visage for what it is, or we can dig deeper once more. The reader can see Henry as a representation of the battle between responsibility and urges. Throughout the book, Henry tries to deal with protecting his daughter from a tape of her.