Questions and Answers: Amusements and A Train is an Order of Occurrence Designed to Lead to Some Result
1. What are the apparent motivations for the humiliation of Dirty Joe?
2. What does the imagery during the roller coaster ride suggest about the moral judgment of Victor and Sadie?
3. What are the implications of the final scene of Victor in the fun house for the themes of “Amusements”?
4. Why is Samuel’s isolation particularly tragic?
5. How is the “craziness” of both white and Native American cultures compared in “A Train is an Order of Occurrence Designed to Lead to Some Result”
1. Victor and Sadie are afraid of sharing Dirty Joe’s shame; they decide to betray Joe and join in the disapproval of the white crowd. As such, they make his humiliation even more painful and complete.
2. The image of an unconscious and helpless Joe tumbling about on the roller coaster contrasts with the cruel laughter and mockery of the crowd; the cruelty of laughing at someone so helpless is emphasized by this image.
3. Like his image, Victor’s feelings and morals have been distorted. He has lost “something good” in himself.
4. Samuel is a renowned storyteller that might share much experience and knowledge with his tribe; instead, his family and friends have chosen to ignore him in his old age.
5. Both cultures isolate their elders in this story, a tragic trend that limits cultural knowledge.