There There

There There


Tommy Orange

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There There: Part IV: Dene Oxendene (4) Summary & Analysis

Dene hears the first gunshots from inside his booth. A bullet whizzes through the curtains, and Dene springs into a defense position, placing his back against the wooden pole holding up the tent. Something hits him in the back, and the booth collapses. Dene is frightened, and worries he’s been shot—but he feels that the wood has stopped the bullet, and he is okay. The shots don’t stop, and Dene struggles to crawl his way out of the collapsed wooden beams and black curtains. As he emerges, he sees Calvin Johnson from the powwow committee firing a gun at a guy on the ground. Two other guys flank Calvin, and are also shooting—one of them is in regalia. Dene wishes he had stayed inside the collapsed ruin of his booth.
Dene feels exposed and betrayed as he realizes that the violence has been caused by someone he knows—someone he even worked with to bring the powwow to fruition. Dene wishes he could hide from what’s actually happening, and remain in ignorance about the violence swirling all around him.
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