The Barnum Museum Summary
Steven Millhauser

Everything you need to understand or teach The Barnum Museum by Steven Millhauser.

  • The Barnum Museum Summary & Study Guide

The Barnum Museum Summary

In the everyday world, reading people and situations can be difficult. The space between perception and reality can be a place of anxiety. Yet in The Barnum Museum, the boundary between illusion and reality is a liminal space, a space of possibility.

Unquestionable interpretation is itself a fiction; however, this leads not to anxiety but to a plethora of possible meanings. Life situations and attempts to understand others are always problematic and ultimately impossible. There is perpetual uncertainty of knowledge of surroundings, background, self and others. There are always different ways of telling a story.

Reading and understanding people in Millhauser's stories can be as difficult as interpreting texts. In "A Game of Clue," four people playing the game Clue try to figure out what is going on in each other's heads even as they try to solve the riddle of the game. The characters of the game...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The The Barnum Museum Study Pack contains:

The Barnum Museum Short Guide

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