The Rifle Themes

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With The Rifle, author Gary Paulsen takes aim - pun definitely intended - at right-of-center Americans who argue passionately for gun rights and advocate for the Constitution's second amendment, the right to bear arms. Paulsen directly quotes the National Rifle Association (NRA) bumper-sticker slogan that "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" in order to refute that sentiment. The entire narrative trajectory of the novel, with its intricate physics and chance encounters, seems to stress that guns are perfectly capable of killing people with no more than purely accidental human intervention.

Paulsen reserves much of his venom for the hapless character of Tim Harrow. Paulsen gives Harrow several characteristics of the Midwestern American conservative - he is an evangelical Christian, he is a member of the NRA, he attends gun shows and has a passion for firearms, and he is suspicious of government and resentful of...

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This section contains 827 words
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Buy The Rifle Study Guide
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