The Indian Uprising (A Critique)

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The Indian Uprising (A Critique)


Any author's primary goal in story writing is to convey an idea or topic to their reading
audience. The conventional wisdom on this thought is that the clearer this is conveyed,
the greater the appeal to the reader. However, some authors feel the need to resist this
trend and forge new paths that sometime leaves the meanings of their stories obscure and
hidden from the average reader. Donald Barthelme has taken this optional approach with his
story "The Indian Uprising". There are several reasons that I did not fully enjoy this
post-colonial short story. One, its "point" is vague and this is a challenge to my current
reading abilities and two, it rambles along its disjointed timeline to the point that I
became easily lost. However, there is something that the story brought to light that I am
now more fully aware of than before reading this story. That is my own abilities of
intellectual analysis. It is these areas that I wish to elaborate upon.


Donald Barthelme's deliberate twisting of the subtleties in meaning in his story is
intriguing. However, as a recent popular movie so elegantly put it, it left me dazed and
confused. I couldn't seem to figure out what the point or moral of the story should be.
Was this a story of a battle between cowboys and Indians, as it suggests in its title? The
story starts off leading you to take this as a real possibility with lines such as "We
defended the city as best we could. The arrows of the Comanches came in clouds."(123). Or
was it a story of love set in the time of war? "...we issued entrenching tools to those
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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