Where The Map Ends By Ron Rash

1129 Words 5 Pages
“Where the Map Ends,” by Ron Rash, was published March of 2014 in the Atlantic. It is the story of two African American slaves; one named Viticus, who is older, and a younger one with no name. When fleeing from their owners, they find themselves at a nearby farm for the night. The next day they accidentally come in contact with the owner of the farm. The younger slave immediately runs away when Viticus tells him he has a suspicion that the farmer went inside to grab his gun. Viticus is right, but when the farmer comes outside it seems as though he is a reasonable man and not interested in sending them back to their slave owner, the Colonel, a man the farmer hates. The younger slave hears this and comes out from the corn field to talk with them. …show more content…
The gun has power over the two slaves. Fear immediately comes to the men’s’ minds before the gun is actually visible and it seems like a natural reaction of how they should think. When Viticus and the younger slave see the gun the younger slave immediately says, “He do have a gun and it already cocked,” the youth said. “Hellfire, Viticus, we gotta light outta here” (Rash 94.) The power of the gun is prominent during this passage and as soon as the younger slave hears about the possibility of a gun, he runs into the corn field due to his fear for his own safety. Another significant passage occurs when the farmer talks about his son going to fight for the Colonel in the war. “I told him if he got in the thick of it, look for them what hid behind the lines with fancy uniforms and plumes in their hats. Them’s the ones to shoot, I said, cause it’s them sons of bitches started this thing. That boy could drop a squirrel at fifty yards. I hope he kilt a couple of them” (97.) Through the farmers story the power of the gun expands beyond the farm where this story takes place. The power gained from this weapon follows the same pattern seen in societal class. The white man’s gun power represents their power over the slaves; the army’s gun power represents their power over the white people; the rich and influential gun power represents their power over everyone else. There is a constant battle for power and the …show more content…
This is done using the gun as a representation of its power over the slaves, and the power over the farmer and his son. The gun also represented the past of the characters. The slave’s past experiences with guns, along with the farmer’s experiences, shape the story and ultimately lead to the younger slave being tied up. Commitment was symbolically represented through the farmer’s commitment to his gun and his farm. The lack of commitment was shown through Viticus not being committed to the younger slave. Throughout the story the symbols of the gun are used to emphasize the major theme of the powerful versus powerless which helps Rash incorporate the struggle in a guise

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