Four levels of Stickeen

Four levels of Stickeen is described below with multiple levels of understanding with Literal comprehension, Interpretation, Critical Thinking, Assimilation.

Literal Comprehension

Stickeen(small dog) is taken to an icy region of southwestern Alaska. He is slow and motionless. Here Muir (the writer) shows the adventurous journey of Stickeen and his own. They travel to an icy region and whenever Muir goes away, Stickeen follows him, but he never complains about it. Stickeen does not leave the narrator. When he is making the most measurable journey in his life.

One day, Muir leaves early in the morning with breakfast in his pocket. Stickeen also somehow follows him through the dangerous crevasses. Muir carefully crosses them whereas Stickeen moves like a flying cloud. It seems like, Stickeen is not scared. When they reach their destination and returning back to the camp they get stuck in a crevasse.

Now, the only way to get out of the crevasse is to go to the silver bridge. Muir cuts notches on the bridge. After crossing the bridge, he cuts the hole at the other end to climb up. As soon as he reaches the other side he calls Stickeen. But at that time Stickeen gets scared because he knows the risk of crossing the crevasses through the silver bridge. He runs, mourns and grieves.

Then, Muir encourages him to cross the bridge. Stickeen then tries to cross and gets success. He shows uncontrollable joy. After that, they reach their camp safely. Stickeen never leaves Muir and he always looks at Muir as if he is the god. Muir can never forget him.


This story is trying to tell us about the similarity that we humans and animals have. Animals also get nervous, scared when they face a difficult situation. It also tells us that experience is the thing that teaches or changes our way to see our lives. This story also explains to us that there is no vast difference between human beings and animals.

Critical thinking

This story gives a positive lesson to the readers but it also has some points which are unacceptable to us:-

  • Are all the dogs faithful or honest to their owners?
  • How can they stay in the icy cold region for a long period?
  • Do people risk their lives in order to explore a remote place?


After reading this story I remembered a dog that passed away two years ago. He was very faithful and he also loved adventure. We used to go to different places together. This story also reminds me of my dog showing happiness by jumping and wagging his tail.