Summary Of Lydia Fitzpatrick's Story 'Safety'

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Lydia Fitzpatrick's story "Safety" explores the fears and emotions of a gym teacher and his students as a normal school day goes awry when an unknown sound is heard. The gym teacher is leading the students through a wind-down after their class when a familiar but unknown sound is heard, prompting the students to imagine what it could be, before it is discovered to be a gun shot. The teacher has all the students move to the boys locker room, then to his office, covering them with a parachute they play with on Fridays. They all hide behind his desk, experiencing fear and different emotions as the shooter passes through the gym. The story presents the fear that the implicit agreement, that adults promise safety in return for children's trust,…show more content…
She describes the characters and uses an element of third person omniscient to present the feelings and backgrounds of them to explain why they are acting the way they are. When the author states, “The gym teacher nods, puts a finger to his lips. He is thinking means of egress. He is thinking police, hide, gun. He is thinking of his cell phone, which was a present from his son last Christmas…” (Furman 251) she uses this form of point of view to express to the reader the surface of what the character is thinking in that moment. The reader does not know every thought or feeling the characters are experiencing, but receive just enough to understand the author’s tone on the subject. Fitzpatrick discusses feelings and thoughts of several of the children- such as the girl that counts silently to herself when she begins to panic, and the girl who thought of lightening- but focuses specifically on the gym teacher and the boy whose father has just returned from war. She discusses more pieces of his background, leading up to the discovery that the shooter is his own brother. She continues to use third person omniscient to describe the boys actions and his excitement to be involved with his brother, but fear and confusion to what his brother is
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