It’s possible for some people to feel lonely even when they are surrounded by other people. They can feel lonely when they are unworthy of attention from other people or because they have a low self-esteem or develop a depression that can cause isolation.
This theme is about loneliness and is evident in the short story “Live like a dog” by Fay Weldon where we met two lonely people Mariam and the taxi driver.
The short story is about Miriam and a taxi driver that meet each other early in the morning. She calls a taxi to get home from the hospital because she has a heart condition.
Because she gives us an insight in how he is, means she is unreliable because we only hear from her point of view how he is as a person and how he looks, we don’t hear it from him until she asks him questions about him.
The short story shift between her past and when they are in the taxi. She feels duty to cheer him up, but she can’t tell him to clean himself because that has nothing to do with cheering him up.
That’s why we hear it from her perspective that she wants to comb his hair and thinks he needs a wash. She is quite afraid of him because he is an immigrant and has a lower class than her. He doesn’t seem to care about himself from Miriam’s perspective.
Miriam is the main character of the short story. She lives alone and is divorced, she also has no children. She works at a nursing agency and runs the company.
Her company is voted as businesswoman of the year. She is a middle-aged woman that has a heart condition, that’s how she meets the taxi driver.
She seems like a person who is happy to live alone but it also seems like she stresses herself because she wants to rush everything.
I think she regrets that she doesn’t have any children, it’s not something she admits in the short story, but it seems like she is regretting things which makes her stress over the fact that she is alone.
Her heart condition is caused by stress and she has to visit the hospital every five month. She wants people to think that she is a good person, she thinks she is responsible for other people’s wellbeing.