The School

The school, written by Donald Barthelme, was one of the best short stories I’ve ever read. Although the beginning of the story was kind of terrible, the ending, or close toward the ending turned the story around to where it wasn’t terrible.

Donald Barthelme’s short story was starting off terrible with the quote, “We were thinking that way probably before that the gerbils had died, and the white mice had died, and the salamander…well, now they know not to carry them around in plastic bags”(par. 3 ). Basically every animal they had died. Even the puppy they weren’t even supposed to have died.

Then toward the end of the short story, things flipped around. The kids wanted to know what love was. They wanted the teacher to make love to the teaching assistant to see how it was supposed to happen. The teacher and teacher assistant showed the class the scene, “Helen came and embraced me. I kissed her a few times on the brow. We held each other. The children were excited”(par. 11). Then when things got heated for the children, a gerbil walks in the classroom and that’s the end of the story.

In “The School”, Donald Barthelme does a good job of walking the reader through the story. He starts out by writing about the terrible things that happened and then goes toward the end with a happy ending. Donald Barthelme’s story was one of the best short stories that I’ve ever read.



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