Tenth of December by George Saunders: My Chivalric Fiasco

Tenth of December

My Chivalric Fiasco is set in a theme park which is based on medieval court life. One night Martha from scullery gets raped by the theme park’s boss, and Ted, a janitor is the only one who knows it. The boss tries to get away with it by promoting both Martha and Ted in exchange for their silence, and at first, it seems to be working. Martha sadly feels ashamed to admit what happened so she doesn’t want Ted to tell anyone, and Ted believes ‘if something isn’t broken you shouldn’t try to fix it, and even if it’s broken, you should probably leave it alone because you’ll only make it worse,’ so he also keeps silent.

But things change when Ted is given a drug called KnightLyfe which is supposed to help him in his new role of Pacing Guard. The drug makes Ted feel chivalrous and knightly, and unfortunately, it is his downfall as well as Martha’s.

For me, this story is the funniest in the collection. After taking the pill, Ted’s speech becomes very florid and Shakespearean, and it was quite entertaining. But it is also one of the most haunting stories because the way Martha feels about what happened to her.

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