Essay on "The Knife Thrower"

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Essay on ”The Knife Thrower”

To make a choice is easy, but to make the right one can sometimes be very difficult. To speak one’s mind and stand up to your opinion can also be tough, especially when in a large crowd, but sometimes this is the most important time for doing so. In Steven Millhauser’s short story, “The Knife Thrower”, the ambiguity of the narrator’s view on the knife thrower’s act is really drawn out and exposed in the spotlight, very unlike the knife thrower’s act itself which is very mystical and sort of hidden in the shadows.

“The Knife Thrower” - the name says it all, but at the same time it tells us nothing about the text. The story is very secretive and does a very good job capturing the reader. It seems as if
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But when Laura is chosen a deep silence fills the tent in which we are located. The doubt begins to spread, but again, no one dare to say anything, people are just wrestling with their thoughts, and as it was before the need for drama wins. In this section the sentences are very long and complex which gives the reader a feeling of that everyone is holding their breath and waiting for the next thing to happen. After this last throw, Hensch finally acknowledges the audience and bow. He does this to show them that his act is finished and that he has satisfied their needs. It almost seems as if he knew all along what the audience’s forbidden desire was, and that he strove to take them to the place where their moral sense was destroyed and the only thing left would be the thrill of entertainment.
The use of the plural point of view could be chosen to illustrate that people often are becoming victim of peer pressure. That the narrator doesn’t have a single voice makes it impossible to blame someone for the things that take place, the only ones to blame are the people in the audience as a whole, because no one steps up and speak their mind. After the show the narrators are constantly trying to convince themselves that what Hensch did was okay: “In any case we reminded ourselves that she hadn’t been coerced in any way, none of them had been coerced in any way.” The passivity that is expressed through
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