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The story by William Carlos Williams (1883- 1963), Use of Force is about a doctor who has been called to a certain residential home, to diagnose a child who had been taken ill by a strong bout of fever. The fever had reached full blown extent to the point of incapacitating the child’s physical movements. Despite this defeating circumstance, the child puts up a spirited fight against the doctor’s attempt at diagnosing her. Finally, propelled by the need to save the child from dying, infecting others tinkered with rage against the spoilt little brat; the doctor with the help of the father is able to extract the mucous membrane that had covered the tonsils. Apparently, the child had managed to hide this from the parents for three days, making it hard for any detection of the deadly diphtheria.
Analyzing the Story
The story is told in a simple but yet ingenious manner so that it makes an interesting read for any readers from all walks of life. The simplicity of the story is seen in the sense that it is set and told in a linear plot. One is able to chronologically see the point from which the narrative is emanating, to the story’s conclusive end. The complexity of the story is only brought about through its ingenuity. The ingenuity comes in the manner in which the author or writer uses direct speech without indicating the same through speech marks. Although one may argue against the same as being tantamount to the breaking of grammatical rules, yet, the same may be left as legit and correct, since the author must have been using poetic license.
The use of the linear motion or plot on the story is effective in the story since it helps the author or the narrator rise from a place of low ebb, build an intensifying climax too compelling to ignore, and then elucidate on the culmination of the story. For instance, the low ebb of the story is the point of the doctor’s arrival and the short inquisitive confabulary that takes place between the doctor and the sick child’s parents. The climax builds from the point in which the child in her frenzied mood; hits the doctor, sending the doctor’s pair of spectacles sprawling across the kitchen floor. It is at this juncture that the doctor develops a determined furry against the child.
Similarly, it is at this point that the doctor passes the dilemma of walking away from the scene for ten minutes or working in a thoroughly tense, hostile and conflictive atmosphere. This climax builds as the child’s father conflicts the mother to support the doctor; when the child in the forceful struggle breaks the doctor’s wooden spatula with her jaws and teeth; and when the doctor uses the steel spoon and decidedly disregards the child’s self inflicted bleeding injury. The culmination or the anticlimax of the story is when the mucous membranes that indicate the presence of tonsillitis are extracted.
Criticizing Essay about That Story
Personally, the story has been told in a very successful and effective fashion. The lucidity behind this is underpinned by the fact that through the use of literary devices, the author is able to deliver the intended themes of the story, while also helping the audience or the readers to remain focused and interested in seeing the development in the story come to its conclusive end. For instance, the nasty bitchiness and stubbornness of the sick child on one hand and the need to have the child diagnosed for the deadly diphtheria attack lead the reader into wanting to know the manner in which the doctor’s unpleasant therapeutic encounter and exercise came to its conclusion. This creates the dilemma in the mind of the reader into debating in his mind, whether or not the doctor at the confrontational stage was ought to have walked away to let the heatedly antagonistic environment be allayed.
Indeed, at the heart of the story is the debate on whether it is appropriate to use force in seeking to administer treatment or clinical procedures on patients that are unwilling. Through the story told, considering the assortment of details presented by the story teller may help the reader make not only cogent arguments, but also a mature and informed decision. On one hand are: the unwillingness of the child to be treated or diagnosed; the bleeding in the child’s mouth which ought to have compelled the doctor to rescind the decision to have the child freed; and the fact that the diagnosis only pointed positively towards tonsillitis. On the other hand are the facts that: the child is unwell and is therefore in need of medical intervention; the child could be suffering a bout of the deadly diphtheria; the child could succumb to death due to neglect- an incident that the doctor had witnessed in the hospital, often.
Above all, the fact that at the center of the crisis is a child who is lost in the world of her whims and foolishness makes the audience or readers side easily with the doctor.