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What I found most interesting about this story is the portrayal of liberation and how it relates to the boys in the story. The absent young men in the story are described as being very overbearing, constantly bullying the rest of the characters into conformity and submission–including the students in Mrs. Hayes’s art class. Art is supposed to be something freeing, something that allows the individual to express themselves without fear, but instead, the main characters find themselves being constantly ridiculed by the young men in the class for their own passion. In their absence, however, the remaining students suddenly find themselves free to let go and fully enjoy themselves for the first time; the art students are able to work in peace, the girls are able to dress comfortably, and the staff members are able to relax a bit as well, not having to deal with all the problems that they usually experience from the boys. Out of violence comes the freedom to truly be oneself, with the cost of this freedom being the loss of life. The boys act as both liberator and executioner; with them in school, the deer would be free and safe, but the other characters in the story would be repressed as usual. Without them, the other characters are able to be themselves, but the deer are hunted down and killed. Either way, someone is going to win and someone is going to lose.

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