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Word Count: 1,276
Game Written Analysis Background--Barthelme was an artist and sculptor This fact explains his meticulous attention to giving the reader the setting so realistically Donald Barthelme paints the setting in the readers mind As Donald artistically puts together the story elements his creative past shines through While Barthelmes view that language defeated itself in that it was no longer effective in communicating his creative ability to pull so many elements together is evident The shortcomings of language are overcome by the graphic and bazaar writing style Art through prose defeats the failures of communicating verbally In addition Barthelmes past shows fervidly here particularly influenced by the communist threat of nuclear war Title-- This title could signify the game in which the US played during the years America fought communism The jacks represent individual countries snatched by the players who are countries in effort to impart their governing type The prevailing struggle of communism in the world stage is the game in which all countries played PlotConflict-- The first-person narrator and Shotwell are locked in an underground facility for an indefinite amount of time They are to shoot the other person upon strange behavior Yet the narrator explains that he cannot discern normal from abnormal due to mutual irregularity of behavior They each possess keys to turn upon the occurrence of certain events on the console Shotwell plays jacks alone and the narrator writes on the wall alone They both know each other is acting strangely but their absurd behavior does not incite them to shoot the other out of mutual oddness Yet they both try to manipulate the other through clandestine actions The circumstances cause wacky behavior upon both Setting-- The two characters are underground in one of four northern states unknown to the narrator The confinement of the green walls the latrine the console and the erratic air conditioner is all that the narrator knows about his setting The 133 days possibly spent in
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