There There

There There


Tommy Orange

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There There: Part IV: Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield (3) Summary & Analysis

Opal sits alone in the stands, watching the hubbub on the field below. She is hoping her grandsons won’t find her or see her. Opal considers how she’s closed “her eyes and ears to the closing of her eyes and ears” for years now, as she realizes that she hasn’t heard a drum since she was young. The last time Opal came to the coliseum, it was for a baseball game, and the boys were young. She looks up at the sky, recalling the day, and sees something that is “not a bird” flying over the coliseum.
Opal has come to the powwow to look for her grandsons—not out of any real desire to be there—but as she enters the event she feels a wistful longing to be part of the culture she’s turned away from for so long. The flying object Opal sees, which is “not a bird,” is likely Daniel’s drone, which has shown up several times throughout the novel, each time emphasizing that people are connected to one another in surprising ways.
Cultural Identity vs. Personal Identity Theme Icon
Generational Trauma Theme Icon