“The Use of Force”, a short story by William Carlos Williams published in 1938 depicts the story of two characters in confrontation. The narrative implies the severity of a situation when social roles and personal impulses intertwine. An analysis can be done by determining the correlation amongst characters and this theme. The man’s behaviour towards the girl and this young patient’s reaction emphasize the difficulties people have separating emotions and standards. The doctor, the main character, and his patient, a young girl, portray a troubled encounter that is subject to discussion.
The characters like in most stories reflect real or plausible issues comparable in real life. Should the professional aspect of a job be put beforehand or does personal reasoning take part? The author uses the persona of the doctor to reveal a dilemma when a serious issue is confronted. This is put into reasoning since the beginning when the man gets attached to his patient. Already, this indicates that the man can’t cope with people on a strictly professional level.
During that period, there is a serious epidemic of diphtheria, which worsens the situation and forces the doctor to take cautious measures aggressively. There is no shame or guilt felt once the man performs his violent manoeuvres, thus leading the readers to believe this man finds pleasure in pain. One could interpret the use of force positively or not but it is the grasp of the story. Saving the young girl through inappropriate manners saves a life although it destroys a reputable career.
The man reveals difficulties separating two different tasks.
The character of the young girl shows conflict between her personality and role as a patient. She is the reason for the instability and turmoil in the story since she is not willing to cooperate. This is revealed by the fact that she is rebellious and spoiled. Since her parents hold no strong restraints, it increases the girl’s vulnerability to behave badly. Her stubbornness only encourages the doctor to show more frustration. Her beauty is an unconscious weapon to tempt the medic while her ignorance shields her from the truth. The girl’s mentality is prevailed by her thinking of “what she doesn’t know can’t hurt her”, unfortunately; the man uses this opportunity to express a great sense of joy in defeating the restless patient. Both characters try to win this fight with a conduct that isn’t regulated by social norms.
The story indicates a lack of obedience from the girl and self-discipline from the doctor.
It is now easier to comprehend how social roles and personal impulses get incorrectly mixed creating a disruptive work environment. Separating both factors isn’t always evident but necessary if one wants to do his duty or remain civilized. On the other hand, cooperation not only eases the process for both parties, it saves time and shows a more educated manner. A use of force should be questioned to properly analyse a situation’s requirements. Otherwise, miss concepts occur, like how many could have believed this short story carries more than just an occupational scene but a perverted one as well.
Remaining polite, patient and understanding isn’t solely for the doctor’s office, it’s a way of life.
Courtney from Study Moose
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