There There

There There

There There Part IV: Tony Loneman (4) Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After abandoning his mission, Tony walks away from the booth where the safe is being kept, but turns around at the sound of gunfire, believing the others are shooting at him. Instead, he sees Carlos shooting at Octavio, and begins shooting at Carlos himself. After a couple shots, the trigger sticks and the gun becomes too hot to hold. Tony drops it and feels himself get shot in the leg. Tony feels like he’s going to pass out, but pushes himself to start running towards Charles, determined to tackle him. Even though Charles continues shooting at him, he keeps running, and uses the last of his strength to bring Charles to the ground.
The narrative backpedals a bit to the moment which marked the start of the shooting. Tony, unable to go through with the plan, nonetheless found himself caught up in something he didn’t want to be a part of—but used all his strength to attempt to stop the violence and end the chaos.
Themes
Generational Trauma Theme Icon
Charles reaches up and begins choking Tony, but Tony fights back. He grabs Charles’s gun and shoots him in the head. Tony, exhausted, rolls over onto his back, and feels himself sinking. He hears the sound of Maxine singing an old Cheyenne song, and becomes determined to stop himself from giving in to the sinking feeling. He rises up out of himself and looks down at his body, and realizes that both Tony and the Drome were “masks” he wore. Tony looks back on an afternoon when he was three or four. After helping Maxine with the dishes, he went to his room to play Transformers, constructing the same story he always does—“a battle, then a betrayal, then a sacrifice.”
Tony commits a terrible act of violence in this passage in order to stop the proliferation of more violence. As Tony reels from his wounds—physical and psychological, he retreats into memory. Even in Tony’s childhood games, however, his awareness of violence and treachery was acute and nuanced.
Themes
Cultural Identity vs. Personal Identity Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Interconnectedness, Coincidence, and Chance Theme Icon
Generational Trauma Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Tony feels himself return to his body—he is anchored to “the middle of the middle of him[self].” Lying on the field of the coliseum, he believes he can hear birds singing, and remembers how Maxine once told him that when dancing he should be light on his feet as a bird’s morning song. Tony tells himself to be light—deep inside him, he feels the birds are singing.
As Tony dies, he experiences a strange moment of peace. He reflects on his memories of being instructed in Native dance—a pure, ancient method of expressing pain, strength, and pride alike—and prepares to leave his earthly “mask” behind.
Themes
Cultural Identity vs. Personal Identity Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Generational Trauma Theme Icon