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Literary Devices In The Game By Donald Barthelme

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In every story, there are many things to analyze. In “Game” by Donald Barthelme, he shows us the way our minds start to work in stressful situations like how the narrator and Shotwell started to respond while controlling the console for the war. In “Game” the narrator’s name is never told, Shotwell and the narrator do not trust each other, but are left alone together and trusted to kill the other if they start to “behave strangely,” although it is never clarified what counts as strange and what counts as normal. Various literary devices are used throughout the story to show us Barthelme’s intended theme, some used are: repetition, symbolism, irony, and figurative language. Barthelme uses repetition to show how the narrator’s mind is deteriorating while being confined in a small space, isolated from everyone except someone he does not know, with very little instruction about what to do. A lot of what the narrator repeats throughout the story are what makes us, as the readers, believe that his mind is deteriorating. For example, when he repeats that they have been there for one hundred thirty-three days, Barthelme is showing how the narrator is counting the days to keep himself reminded. Although, it starts to make him question how long he and Shotwell will be in isolation and it starts to make him think differently about his situation and he starts to realize and focus on about how they are both unwell. Another way Barthelme uses repetition is when the readers are
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