Doe”Doe Season,” David Kaplan uses symbolism to carry Andy through herrite of passage into womanhood. I. Andy is unknowing as she ventures out on ahunting trip with her father. A. She leaves at night and arrives at herdestination early in the morning. B. She comments on the space between where shewas and the moon. II. Andy is maturing slowly as the story progresses. A. Andycarries her own pack. B. She drinks coffee imitating her father (holding the cuplike he does.
). C. Andy volunteers to go out alone to gather firewood. III. Andyhas matured to the point of womanhood and is learning acceptance of herself. A.
After Andy shot the deer, she had a dream that her hand was inside the bullethole and the wound closed around her hand. B. Andy ran while her father wasgutting the deer and no longer answered to Andy but Andrea. Published in 1985,David Kaplan’s short story “Doe Season” is set in the Pennsylvaniawoods. This story reveals the trials and tribulations Andy, a dynamic character,goes through to reach her final destination of womanhood.
Throughout “DoeSeason,” David Kaplan uses symbolism to carry Andy through her rite ofpassage into womanhood. Andy is unknowing as she ventures out on a hunting tripwith her father. Early in the morning, Andy and her father are awaiting thearrival Mac and his son Charlie. The four of them are going hunting in thewoods. Mac and Charlie finally arrive. After loading the car, the four of thembegin their way into the woods. The woods were only several miles behind herhouse, but “it was like thinking of the space between here and themoon” (342). At daybreak, Andy awoke to find them riding over gentle hillsin the Pennsylvania valley. They were almost there. It was almost time to beginhunting. The first portion of a rite of passage story is the character goinginto or approaching the unknown. In “Doe Season,” the unknown is thewoods. Andy and the crew leave when it is still dark out and arrive when it isdaybreak. This symbolizes a new thing or a big change is going to occur. Laterin the story, we learn of the big change that has occurred. Andy is maturing asthe story progresses. As the crew first arrives at their destination, everyoneis getting their gear ready. Andy carries her own pack. She also says to Mac,”I can carry a pack as big as yours any day” (344). This symbolizesthat she is growing up and can do things for herself. After the group hunts fora bit, they stop to eat lunch. At lunch, the group eats bean soup prepared byAndy’s mother. As Andy washed the lunch dishes, Charlie and her father drank afew swigs of some Jim Beam. Then they all had coffee, even Andy. Andy drank thecoffee imitating the way her father held the cup, noting that it was not by thehandle but around the rim (345). She also noticed the coffee tasted smoky, butdrank it all anyway. Following the coffee, the group began to hunt again. A fewhours later, they stopped again, this time for dinner. While Andy was unpackingthe food and preparing for dinner, the men of the group were busy setting up thetents. Andy then volunteers to go out alone to gather wood to start a fire(346). After dinner, the four of them went to sleep for the night. Charlie, Mac,Andy and her father awoke the next morning before the light of day. They allwent hunting again. Andy spotted the first deer. The group was making plenty ofnoise, but the deer did not run away. Her father wanted Andy to shoot the deer,but Charlie argued that she probably couldn’t shoot the gun on her own. Andy, alittle hesitant, did shoot the deer on her own. She hit the deer where the legsmet the chest. The deer fell but did not stay down. It got up and walked away.
As the deer walked away Andy prayed that it would die. She did not want it tosuffer. She was almost in tears as she thought these thoughts. The group endedtheir adventure for the night. Andy has matured to the point of womanhood and islearning the acceptance of herself. While everyone was asleep, Andy had a dream.
She got up out of her sleeping bag and stepped outside the tent. It wasunusually warm. She saw the deer that she had shot just hours earlier. It wasnot frightened of her. In fact, it walked right up to her. She reached out andtouched the deer. Slowly, her hand rubbed along the fur until it came to thewound. Her hand felt the rough fur matted with blood. She felt the stickiness ofthe blood clotting. As she touched the wound, her hand slipped into the warmopening. He hand pressed deeper and deeper into the wound until she felt theheart. The heart was warm and beating strong. As she touched the heart it beatfaster and faster, and became warmer. Andy tried to move her hand out of thewound but couldn’t. It was stuck. Her arm and hand were stuck as if the woundhad closed around them. Suddenly she pulled her hand free and blood rushed out.
Then she woke up. (352-3) This episode represents the middle of Andy’s rite ofpassage. The wound and rushing blood symbolize menstruation, the true sign ofbeing a woman. Andy’s hand being stuck in the wound represents being stuck inwomanhood. Once a young female arrives in womanhood, it is very difficult toleave. In a sense, the young woman is stuck there. Beginning menstruation is atrial for her. Each female handles this trial in her own way. After Charlie,Mac, Andy and her father find the deer the next morning, the fathers of thegroup gut it. Her father lifted the doe’s foreleg so that its head restedbetween his knees and the underside exposed. He sliced the deer from chest tobelly to crotch. Andy began to run away. Everyone was calling for her to comeback, but she was no longer answering to Andy. She was a woman and wanted to becalled Andrea. “Doe Season” is a story of a rite of passage. A rite ofpassage contains three major parts, the unknown, the trial, and gainingknowledge. In this story, David Kaplan clearly states those three parts. DavidKaplan used symbols to carry Andy through her rite of passage into womanhood. Heused darkness to symbolize the unknown because Andy didn’t know what was aheadfor her in the woods. Kaplan used the shooting of the deer and the dream tosymbolize the trial portion of a rite of passage. Andy wished for the deer notto suffer, she wished death upon it. The dream symbolized the entrance intowomanhood–menstruation. At the end of the story, Andy changes her name toAndrea. This symbolizes that she is a woman and has completed her rite ofpassage.
Cite this Season By Kaplan
Season By Kaplan. (2018, Dec 08). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/season-by-kaplan/