Friday, October 01, 2010

The Dungeon Master by Sam Lipsyte

New Yorker short story “The Dungeon Master” illustrates the playfully funny yet sometimes seriously dramatic journey from a difficult childhood to a perhaps more complicated adulthood. In this piece the main character bares witness to a troubled friend whom he accompanies with other peers through the imaginative world of Dungeons and Dragons as they struggle with their insecurities by waging imaginary wars and stealing dragon's treasures. The insecure dungeon master consistently overstepping his claims of power and control by bullying both the narrator and his peers through the game forces the narrator to finally rebel and break free of his control.

Having broken away from the unstable group he struggles to find his own identity in the world. These adult struggles provide him with some maturity and enough distance from his former friend to see the issues that plague him. At the end of the story the Dungeon Master asks “No hard feelings?” to which the other puzzles at the stupidity of the comment when he contemplates how difficult feelings really are. It is clear that the Dungeon Master has failed to successfully develop into adulthood by refusing to confront his own feelings namely about his being kicked out of his house and his precarious future living arrangements. The strange question jars the narrator into realizing that his friend has graduated from troubled child to possible future suicide and that his own prospective is perhaps not much brighter.

Blog Directory - Blogged