Analysis Of Escape From Spiderhead

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George Saunders has thrilled minds and captivated hearts in many of his short stories since the start of his career. However, this particular short story from Saunders, entitled “Escape from Spiderhead,” tells the story of a young man getting pushed to his limits; in a twisted and beautifully sad way. Saunders illustrates how one person can hold on to his humanity in an increasingly oppressive environment. By paying close attention to the dialog, themes, and characters of this story, you will begin to see clear indication that Abnesti is creating a brutal and demented environment for Jeff.

Throughout Jeffs time at this so called “prison,” he is constantly being stripped of all of his freedom, as well as his feelings. Although he is a convict, many of the experiments taking place on him are inhumane; it becomes increasingly clear in the dialog between Jeff, and the head scientist at this prison, Abnesti. Towards the end of the story, when Jeff is reluctant to give Heather the “Darkenfloxxed,” Abnesti is quoted saying, “Do I remember birthdays around here? When a certain individual got athlete’s foot on his groin on a Sunday, did a certain other individual drive over to Rexall and pick up a prescription, paying for it with his own personal money?” Abnesti is using his minuscule good deeds in the past to prove that he is still on Jeff's side; indicating that Abnesti is an unstable human being, who does not feel how wildly this experiment has gotten out of hand. Also, he is
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