Essay on Analysis of "The Use of Force"
1135 WordsJul 7th, 20125 Pages
13 September 2011
Analysis of “The Use of Force”
Williams Carlos Williams applies both internal and external conflict to his short story,” The Use of Force.” The narrator struggles with how he should help cure an ill but stubborn child. Is he acting forceful because he is trying to help the patient, or is he actually enjoying being malicious towards her? To make a short story even shorter, this story is about a doctor who was called by a sick child’s parents to come diagnose the young girl. Throughout the story the little girl refuses to let the doctor come anywhere close to examining her. No matter how much the parents try to calm the child down, they seem to make the situation even worse.…show more content…
This could be foreshadowing that the child will become even more difficult to handle. Making her even more scared and difficult to work with. That is another example of external conflict.
At first the doctor is trying to be cooperative, because he’s trying to do his job and help the young girl. After awhile he starts to enjoy being mean to her. Maybe he is thinking this way, because he wants to get some sort of revenge for the little girl behaving the way she was. Maybe he could just be acting this way, because he’s got some sort of an evil side to him. Personally, I think he’s just enjoying being rude to her, because she is being rude to him. Those are examples of internal conflicts the doctor experiences.
The turning point of the story is when the doctor started to act mean towards the little girl, and thinking to himself how he enjoyed it. The little girl knocking his glasses off and trying to claw at his eyes was probably the final straw for him. All he was trying to do was help her, and all she was doing was making it even more difficult. In my opinion I believe she was the reason he began to enjoy acting mean towards her, so his thoughts could have been and probably were a normal thought of someone who was trying to do their job, and just got stuck with a difficult patient.
The ending of the story shows that the little girl had been dealing with her own sort of internal conflict. She had a
Although William Carlos Williams spent much of his life as a pediatrician, and perhaps had actually experienced more than one difficult encounter with a sick child, “The Use of Force” is not simply a story about one doctor’s admirable efforts to save a child from her own stubborn self, nor is it a story about one doctor’s attacking a child with sadistic cruelty. If the event were described in a novel about the experiences of a small-town doctor, it might be merely an example of one such encounter among many others. However, the story suggests a more universal and general meaning because it is a short story, leading the reader to presume it will have some central significance; because the encounter is told in such violent, seemingly symbolic terms; and because it includes the doctor’s philosophic conclusion about what drives him to force the child’s mouth open.
The use of force is a legal concept, a principle that allows authorities to exercise physical force against another person if such force is deemed justifiable to protect the individual or to protect society from the individual. The principle is not without controversy. For example, sometimes police are accused of an unjustified use of force to subdue a suspected criminal or to quell protesters. Whereas law enforcement argues that such use of force is necessary to protect others or itself, critics often argue that law enforcement is sadistic and cruel, that it uses force to attack an individual or a group of which they disapprove.
The doctor in this story, a professional healer who epitomizes rational control and embodies a basic human desire to help others, knows the meaning of his actions when he says he has gone beyond reason in his struggle with the child. Although he has society on his side—as he says, the child must be protected from herself, and others must be protected from her spreading the disease—he knows that what drives him at the moment he tries to get the tongue depressor in her mouth is unthinking fury, what he calls a longing for muscular release. These thoughts lead to his shame.
The story does not...
(The entire section is 869 words.)