The Old Gun Analysis

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In modern society, guns are seen as a form of control. Those who have guns are able to overpower those who do not. This trend was set when guns were first invented and has stayed the same throughout history. The one place where guns are not a symbol of power and control is in literature, specifically “The Old Gun” and Hamilton. In Mo Yan’s short story “The Old Gun”, the protagonist is a hungry boy who does not even know how to use the titular firearm. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton ends with the titular character dying from wounds sustained in a pistol duel. Both of these works feature characters that turn to using firearms when they have no other options. Although one could argue that guns are a symbol of control because the characters…show more content…
The grandmother’s use of the gun in “The Old Gun” symbolizes a loss of control because she uses it when her husband defies her rule and she has lost control of her land. The aforementioned dynamic is present in the relationship between Dasuo’s grandparents and showcased in the lines, “Dasou’s grandad-his name was Santao-was so afraid of his wife he was skulking outside the door, too scared to come in…Dasou’s granny smiled and said: You lost the horses, didn’t you” (1198). Dasou’s grandfather knows that he defied his wife and that she would not allow that loss of control to occur without punishment. Dasou’s grandmother uses the gun to get rid of a man that did not abide by her rules. She also kills him because he took away her control over their land and livestock which is evidenced in her line, “You’ve lost my horses, lost my land” (1198). Her livelihood has been ripped away from her and she no longer has control over her husband or her land. The gun represents that loss of control by killing the man that had caused in in the first place. “The Old Gun” is not the only text in which guns symbolize a loss of control; Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton also follows that line of

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