The short story “The Sentry” is written by Téa Obreht in 2010 and published in The Guardian on Saturday the 14 of August.
From the text you could begin to wonder what it is really is about but it seems to circle around themes like family relations and family hierarchies, expectations and disappointments, and who has the right to dominate who... In this essay the main focus point will be to uncover if this is really what it ́s about and produce evidence for stating that the specific topic in story is a really complicated farther-son relationship.
The story culminates one day when Bojan is about to “control” the dog again with the gun and his father sees it. The father reacts by treating Bojan as a dog telling him to “sit” just like Bojan told the dog to sit.
The father is clearly shocked, he realizes that this is the way Bojan controls the dog “Is that how it’s done”. Moments after he fires the gun at the dog and kills it leaving Bojan in shock.
The idea behind this is that the father has realized that Bojan no longer fears the dog and a time might come that a boy no longer fears his father which he can’t handle, particularly because he senses the boy is weak and not out of his picture.
So, the story is very much about a complicated father-son relationship, a father ́s expectations and disappointments when he realizes the son is gay and beyond his reach.
The dog plays a vital role in the plot, the father sees the dog not only as substitute for himself but maybe also for the son that he wished he had had, tough and strong instead of a weak piano-playing son. When he then realizes that the son can control the dog he can’t stand it and has to kill it. So perhaps you could say that he in his mind actually kills his son in that very moment.