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Word Count: 864
The short story The School by Donald Barthelme uses subtle wording and references to death making the reader believe this text is written in a pessimistic voice but in actuality the text is extremely optimistic Unlike most stories The School has no introductory paragraph because the stories main ideas are dispersed subliminally throughout the story It is written in a conversational tone but it flows smoothly throughout It has a unique contemporary narrative structure and through this way of writing the reader realizes this story is not about death but about the idea that life can be created as fast as it is destroyed One main idea of this story is the school is not a traditional socially acceptable school In the first three paragraphs the reader receives the notion that this school is unconventional For this schools curriculum they had the children planting trees and herb gardens 535 Each child had their own tree and herb garden and was responsible for taking care of it Also the children had many pets to take care of including snakes a tropical fish gerbils white mice and a salamander 535-536 They had a puppy which they werent supposed to have because it was against school policy but their teacher let them keep it which most traditional teachers do not allow 536 In traditional classrooms there is usually just one class pet that way the teacher can make sure it is being properly nurtured Because each child had to take care of their own plant and their own pet the plants and animals died from neglect or over feeding or just not being properly cared for This system did however help the children understand what it means to be alive and what it means to be dead Also in the last paragraph the children want Edgar their teacher and Helen his assistant to make love in front of them as a demonstration In socially acceptable schools it is
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