Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 271
1. What does the hurricane symbolize in this story?
2. What is the role of the storytelling as seen here, and what makes this role so difficult?
3. How do sensory images from Victor’s childhood contribute to themes of this story?
4. Which experiences finally bring the community together, and how is this communal bond ironic?
5. What does the end of the story portend for Victor’s future, and thus, for the themes of other stories in the book?
1. The hurricane refers to the emotional turmoil experienced by Victor as well as the social chaos experienced by his community; it is symbol of the threats faced by the Native American community both from outside and within the Reservation in the story.
2. The storyteller must record his own experiences as well as those of the tribe. This act is difficult because it involves remembering the past clearly, and thus truthfully, even if it contains painful memories.
3. Depiction of images that evoke the senses help to underscore the difficulty of Victor’s childhood. The primary sensory experiences of his childhood, at least as seen in this story, are of alcohol abuse, hunger, and emotional conflict.
4. The shared experience of suffering finally brings the partiers together at the end of the story. It is ironic that such negative, rather than positive, experiences provide strong bonds between individuals and hope for the survival of the group.
5. The conclusion suggests that Victor must remember, and perhaps even accept, his past. The emphasis on memory, storytelling, and survival in this story suggests that these issues will be continue to be important to and cause conflict in subsequent stories.
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