This is a very interesting question, but as we have learned through our novel study, and in Jack London's story "To Build a Fire," stories are not always about happy events because really good authors do their best to reflect life as accurately as possible, like looking at ourselves in a mirror.
In fact, in Shakespeare's famous play Hamlet, Hamlet himself says that really good drama (plays and stories) should "hold a mirror up to nature" (meaning human nature and the natural world).
I want you to go to this site: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/anna_deavere_smith_s_american_character.html and watch the acting performance of Anna Deavere Smith. She does a one-woman show about "American Character" - just like we are studying in our short story unit! I will warn you that the stories she acts out are real and have some violence in them, but they are all true stories from real Americans. If you find that one section is upsetting you can skip to the next character.
When you finish watching the whole "lecture" that she gives, I want you to post a comment in the "comments" section answering this question:
*** Answers should be 250-500 words long ***
QUESTION: How is Anna Deavere Smith's show like the short story "The Dark-Brown Dog"? What qualities of American life are we being shown through these characters and what can we learn about culture and history from Stephen Crane's short story and the characters Ms. Deavere Smith is acting out?