“The Hobbyist” by Frederic Brown Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 25 March 2016

“The Hobbyist” by Frederic Brown

The short story, “The Hobbyist written by Frederic Brown is about a man named Sangstrom. Sangstrom was at a prescription pharmacy secretly talking to the Druggist about buying an undetectable poison to kill his wife. The Druggist asks to follow him into the back room and puts some coffee into the boiler. The Druggist informs Sangstrom that he feels that he deserves the poison for free but must pay for the antidote. This is when Sangstrom realizes that the Druggist had poisoned his coffee. Sangstrom panics and pulls out his gun and points it at the Druggist. The Druggist continues to explain that if Sangstrom hands over $1000 and writes a confession of the murder of his wife and the Druggist in case he did kill either one of them,, the man would get an antidote. Sangstrom gave the money and wrote the confession which the Druggist mailed. The story ends with the Druggist being sure that Sangstrom would not be committing any murder any time soon.

It was basically a plan carried out to blackmail Sangstrom.Character The Druggist is the protagonist in the short story, “Hobbyist”, written by Frederic Brown. He is central to the story with all the major events having some importance to him. The Druggist is a mixture of both rounded and dynamic characters since he has many sided and complex personalities that you would expect of actual human beings but also has a personality that changes for the better and worse by the end of the story. For example, at the beginning the Druggist is reflected as a greedy person who agrees to sell poison for the money he will receive despite of the fact that what he is doing is wrong. But by the end of the story, the Druggist turns out to be a harmless and kind person who blackmails Sangstrom in giving the money without giving the poison and still prevents Sangstrom from murdering his wife.

The physical characteristics of the Druggist are old, around 60 years of age, hunchbacked, with a long white beard, since in the text he is described as a gnome like and gnarly man. The Druggist is an intelligent man. I know this because the text says, “Oh, one other thing-although I do not absolutely insist on it. Please help spread the word about my undetectable poison, will you? One never knows, Mr.Sangstrom. The life you save, if you have any enemies, just might be your own.” This proves how through blackmailing people he tries to save lives. The Druggist is brave because the text says, “Or if you think I’m bluffing, that you’re really not poisoned, go ahead and shoot.” This proves that he wasn’t scared of the gun. The Druggist is a careful man because the text says, “Whom do you want to kill and why?” This proves that he wants to know everything in the mind of the murdered before he gives anything to him.

Sangstrom is the antagonist in the short story, “Hobbyist”, written by Frederic Brown. He is the person that opposes the Druggist. Sangstrom like the Druggist is also a mixture of both rounded and dynamic characters since he has many sided and complex personalities that you would expect of actual human beings but also has a personality that changes for the better and worse by the end of the story. For example, at the beginning of the story Sangstrom is reflected as a typical bad or villainous type person wanting to kill his wife. However right after the climax, just like a villainous character, his reaction to being blackmailed was pointing his gun at the Druggist. Sangstrom was forced into not killing his wife in the fear of getting caught by the police if the confession letter was mailed.

The physical characteristics of Sangstrom are tall, lean, dangerous looking, and a person with extremely pale skin since in the text he is described as looking extremely pale when he realizes that the coffee he just drunk had poison in it. Sangstrom is impatient because the text says, “Does it matter? Isn’t it enough that I pay for-“. This proves how impatient he was to get the poison to kill his wife as soon as possible. Sangstrom is gullible because the text says, “I heard a rumour to the effect that you have a completely undetectable poison”. This proves how easily he was tricked and deceived by words to believe something that was not true. Sangstrom is determined because the text says, “He pulled a pistol out from his pocket.” This proves that he was determined to get both the antidote and the poison through the means of his gun.

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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 25 March 2016

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