can someone summarize “antlers” by Rick Bass. I just need the general idea of the story?

4 Answers

  • You really should read the story. It is one of the best short stories by Rick Bass. You can read the complete short story of "Antlers" by Rick Bass at this link any time on-line.

    In the short story "Antlers" by Rick Bass, a man talks about his life in small, secluded town. He describes a few of the townspeople and what they are like. The story starts when the main character talks about the town's annual Halloween party. The people of the town gather, listen to music, dance, get drunk, put on antlers, and have a great time. When the night is over, the people that need a ride to their homes usually tie a rope to the back of someone's truck and ski home.

    There is a local bar in the town that almost every guy goes to. The bartender is a women named Suzie. Suzie has been with almost every man in all the town except Randy. She believes that Randy is really frightening. She hates hunting, especially bow hunting, because she believes it is pointless and cruel. That is why she doesn't like Randy. Randy Jonny Tahai, SHS researchdris the only person in the town that bow hunts, and Suzie absolutely can't stand it. Suzie always criticizes all the men about hunting and how cruel it is. The men just give her a big hoo-rah and drink some beer.

    The main character, who has spent the most time with Suzie, still has feelings for her. He knew that Suzie was going to leave him, but still it hurt him. Eventually, after she leaves her last boyfriend, she comes back to the main character. The story is a very vivid story of a man that lives in a small, quiet valley. Even though the town is small, a lot goes on in that town.

    The story at hand is about much more than the ethics of hunting, and despite its ambiguous, if not non-existent plot, I thought it was rich with meaning. Packaged as a glimpse of life into a small group of people, set in a beautifully rustic and occasionally harsh environment, the story eludes to several themes such as relationships, human needs, addictions, fear, stereotypes, hypocrisy, and our perceptions of reality. Like an old, mysterious house with trap doors and hidden rooms, each time I read Antlers, I found something I didn't see before.

    Bass uses the amazingly depicted setting to both attract and pacify the reader, sufficiently enough to discuss highly-charged issues without invoking an immediate emotional response. While we are busy visualizing a "cold, blue valley" filled with peaceful silence, and amused by the thought of people with antlers on their heads "dancing all night long, putting nickels in the jukebox" (52), the author skillfully challenges some of our deepest beliefs.

    First addressing the most obvious theme, the subject of hunting, I get the sense that Bass, like the men in the valley, encourages a passive acceptance of hunting. He sees it as a necessary evil, and a means of survival. Does it really make a difference if it's done in a controlled environment or in the wild? After all, "Dead's dead, isn't it" (53)? He drives his point home by making light of Suzie's views, in her own words:

    Cattle are like city people. Cattle expect, even deserve, what they've got coming. But wild animals are different. Wild animals enjoy life. They live in the woods on purpose. It's cruel to go in after them (54).

    I think it's safe to say that Suzie isn't an expert on cattle psychology, but most notably, her beliefs on the subject are based on assumptions and are largely hypocritical. It's doubtful that cattle have the capacity to expect, and much less deserve, their predestined fate. Bass might be saying that eating meat is just a part of life....

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  • Rick Bass Short Stories

  • And Googling it would be wrong becasue ?

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