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             Donald Barthelme's short story "Game- is about two men who are in the military and are stationed in an underground bunker. They are in charge of launching a nuclear missile if "certain events take place upon the console- (Barthelme 958). Barthelme uses literary devices such as metaphor, and repetition to enforce his theme. The theme that Barthelme has written about is that nuclear warfare is childish and stupid.
             Throughout the story the narrator keeps talking about "The Bird-(Barthelme 958). This bird is a metaphor for a nuclear warhead that is aimed at a certain target. The two men in the bunker have been instructed to turn their two keys simultaneously and the nuclear missile will launch. Repetition is the most used device in this story. The narrator repeats "my hand resting idly atop my attaché case- (Barthelme 958). He repeats this and other sentences over and over again to show that the narrator is going crazy. The fact that the narrator is going crazy is because of this war that is going on. Barthelme is showing his readers that nuclear war is hard on the mind and is a silly and stupid thing to be involved in. The other person in the bunker is a man by the name of Shotwell. His name is a symbol of how the two men are supposed "to shoot the other if the other is behaving strangely- (Barthelme 958). This man has jacks that he plays with and the narrator desires to play with them. Shotwell does not let him play with them and this represents the childness and foolishness of nuclear warfare.
             Donald Barthelme believed that words in the English language could not move people and capture them so he "set out to create a banal world that fails to make distinctions of quality in people, things and ideas- (Elements of Literature 955). In the story the Game Barthelme fails to write about the qualities of the narrator and Shotwell he only describes the way that he acts.

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