Windows: There There by Tommy Orange

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 496 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jan 31, 2024

Words: 496|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jan 31, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Overview of the Windows Motif
  3. Windows as Barriers and Obstacles
  4. Windows as Perspectives and Opportunities
  5. Windows as Means of Escape
  6. Windows as Symbols of Vulnerability and Exposure
  7. Conclusion
  8. References:


Tommy Orange's novel "There There" is a powerful exploration of Native American identity in urban America. The novel weaves together the experiences of multiple characters as they navigate complex issues of identity, connection, and cultural heritage. This essay aims to explore the representation of the windows motif in "There There" and its significance in conveying the characters' search for identity and connection.

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Overview of the Windows Motif

Throughout "There There," windows are a recurring motif that holds significant symbolic value. They are present in various scenes and settings, serving as a multifaceted symbol that reflects the characters' experiences and emotions. The windows in the novel are not merely physical objects; they are laden with deeper meaning and implications for the characters.

Windows as Barriers and Obstacles

Windows often function as physical barriers within the urban landscape, separating the characters from the outside world. The characters frequently encounter windows as obstacles that inhibit their ability to fully connect with their surroundings and cultural identities. For example, in the depiction of the powwow dance, the characters struggle with the barriers of the glass windows that confine them within the urban space, preventing them from fully embracing their cultural traditions.

Windows as Perspectives and Opportunities

On the other hand, windows also offer different perspectives and glimpses into other worlds. They serve as opportunities for the characters to observe, learn, or dream beyond their current realities. For instance, Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield uses windows to observe and reflect on her surroundings, providing her with a sense of connection to her cultural heritage despite the urban environment in which she resides.

Windows as Means of Escape

Throughout the novel, windows are also representative of escapism in the characters' lives. They become a means through which the characters fantasize about alternative lives or disconnect from the challenges of their surroundings. This is evident in the portrayal of Tony Loneman, who uses windows to retreat into his own world of imagination and respite from the harsh realities of his life.

Windows as Symbols of Vulnerability and Exposure

In certain instances, windows symbolize vulnerability and exposure for the characters. They serve as reminders of the external gaze and surveillance within society, highlighting the characters' feelings of being watched and judged. This is seen in the portrayal of Blue, who experiences a sense of vulnerability and unease when confronted with the gaze of others through the windows in her daily life.

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In conclusion, the representation of the windows motif in "There There" contributes to the novel's themes of identity, connection, and the struggles faced by the characters. The multifaceted nature of the windows motif offers a rich and complex portrayal of the characters' experiences, unveiling the challenges they encounter in their search for cultural identity and connection in an urban landscape.


  1. Orange, Tommy. There There. Knopf, 2018.
  2. Phillips, Emilia. “There There by Tommy Orange.” BookBrowse, 2018,
  3. Grogan, Sarah. "Cultural Preservation in 'There There' by Tommy Orange." The Paris Review, 14 June 2018,
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Windows: There There by Tommy Orange. (2024, January 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
“Windows: There There by Tommy Orange.” GradesFixer, 31 Jan. 2024,
Windows: There There by Tommy Orange. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Jul. 2024].
Windows: There There by Tommy Orange [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 31 [cited 2024 Jul 19]. Available from:
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