In "Doe Season" the author David Michael Kaplan shows a girl's initiation from a childhood into adulthood. It shows becoming a girl as a rite of passage. The author uses many symbols through out the story to reveal Andy's discovery of her own identity. In the beginning of the story Andy remembers a trip she took with her family to the New Jersey Shore. The ocean is something that frightens her and the smell makes her think of death. At one point Andy's mom's swimsuit top came off because of the waves in the ocean.
Andy was her mom's breasts swinging freely and looked around in embarrassment. The author uses this memory as a pre conscious imitation to Andy what she will be-a woman. At this point Andy is not ready to accept or value the fact that it is something that will happen. When Andy spots the doe her father tells her that she can take the shot since she spotted it.
Charlie say's to Andy, "That's right, she can't... She's not old enough and she don't have a license even if she was" (pg 434)! Charlie doesn't thinks that because she is a girl she is incapable of making the shot. After Andy took the shot everyone thought the doe was dead. Once they noticed the deer was alive Charlie was the first one to make Andy feel terrible for what she had done. Charlie said, "Dead hell! Clean shot, my ass" (pg 345)! It was at this point that Andy first felt a bit of remorse for what she had done.
Andy wanted to forget about what happened because she didn't want to think of the deer in pain. She just wished that is was dead and out of its misery. Andy was traumatized after the shooting. She didn't really want to kill it.
Andy had reached a point where she had the conflict of belonging with the values of her father or her per-conscious value of the female world symbolized by her mother and the doe. After the incident with the deer later that night Andy has a dream about the deer. The dream is so powerful that it seems as if it were real to her. In the dream Andy felt the wound where she had shot the doe.
She felt the heart with her hand and it seemed to be alive. When she tried to remove her hand she couldn't and her hand started to hurt. Andy feels the heart because she still wants the doe to be alive. The hurt she feels in her hand is the guilt she feels for the deer. In a way it protects her from the realization that the dear is dead. It is also associated with growing up, how you must learn to accept the consequences for what you have done.
After Andy woke up the next morning she could smell blood. The references to blood are consistent with the initiation theme because it suggests the beginning of the menstrual cycle. It is something that every woman must go through, and is the beginning of a girl becoming a woman. In the end Andy did not want to be referred to as Andy, but Andrea because after all that is her real name. When everyone is calling her Andy it reminds her of the way her mother called her into the ocean. The name Andy is something that repulses her now.
The name Andy is something that she has overcome and helped her realize who she really is, a girl, Andrea. Overall, the story used a lot of symbols to get across the idea of initiation from childhood to adulthood. In both seeing her mother exposed in the ocean, and witnessing a doe's death Andy was able to use these experiences and become a woman. It was there experiences that made her realize her true self..