Deer In The Works Analysis

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"Deer in the Works" depicts a dystopian future in which industry, funded by a controlling government, has overpowered individuality. The basic idea is that David almost loses his individuality to the bureaucracy of the Ilium Works, in only one day's time. This theme - the loss of individual spirit - is common in Vonnegut's short fiction, and here is explicitly related as a conflict between writing and commerce. Writing, Vonnegut's own profession, is deemed useless in the eyes of the Ilium Works, unless it is used for sales and advertising (in other words, to make money). Writing as an art form has become obsolete. Instead, the Works views life only in terms of its bureaucratic efficiency. It is telling that David's newspaper follows the lives of a small town - it seeks to tell the stories of the individuals in his community. David's ability to detail the lives of his small town stands in contrast to the rating sheet system, which judges each individual via a set of numbers. The tension between individual humanity and systematic…show more content…
The very first sentence describes the way in which machinery overpowers people: "The big black stacks of the Ilium Works of the Federal Apparatus Corporation spewed acid fumes and soot over the hundreds of men and women who were lined up before the redbrick employment office" (222). People are being overwhelmed by the machines they are now practically subservient to. This motif resurfaces several times, such as when David cannot hear directions over a machine, or when the crystallographer immediately wants David's feedback on a new invention. As the old man walks David over to Mr. Flammer's office, the machinery is personified as "spitting, whining, grumbling," as if it has taken the life from the people who operate it (228-229). Indeed, it seems that these humans have allowed machines to become their primary

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