At the end of “Victory Lap” by George Saunders, Alison wakes up from her dream and her parents tell her that she ran outside, yelled, and stopped Kyle from killing the kidnapper. However, I think Alison’s parents are lying to her so she is not traumatized by the events. At the end of the kidnapper’s point of view, he says “He closed his eyes and waited and was not at peace at all but instead felt the beginnings of a terrible dread welling up inside him, and if that dread kept going at the current rate, he realized in a flash of insight, there was a name for the place he would be then, and it was Hell.” (25) This sentence can be perceived two ways. 1: he would be in Hell, it hasn’t happened yet, and this is more of a hypothetical situation; or 2: it WAS Hell, it happened, the kidnapper has died and gone to Hell. The use of the word “was” rather than “would be” makes me believe that the correct reading is the latter. In addition, at the time, Alison was shaking and scared for her life and seemed like she was in no state to be able to go outside and yell at Kyle to stop. Also, Kyle was so enraged and determined that I don’t think he would stop on his own. These facts lead me to believe that Kyle really did kill Alison’s kidnapper, and Alison’s parents are lying to her to protect her from feeling like his death was her fault.
3 thoughts on “Kyle is a Killer”
This is a nice interpretation of the story. I never thought about kyle being like that. The amount of evidence that you had showed really backs up your point. I like the amount of detail you give about this.
I thought this was a very interesting interpretation of how the story ended. This seems like a very possible ending and it would be very interesting if Kyle really did kill the attacker and Alison’s parent’s were just trying to comfort her. Also, this would display how strong of an impact that Kyle’s breach of his rules, given by his parents, really had on his mental state.
I like how you see this story. If Kyle DID kill the kidnapper, this story would end up being a lot darker than it already is. I wouldn’t have believed that he actually killed him, but you brought up Kyle using the world hell. Hell being a place reserved for the dead totally changes the outlook on this scene.