Show More“The Use of Force” by William Carlos Williams is a confrontation between a doctor and his young patient. The story is narrated by the doctor. The doctor use of force with his young patient sparks a question whether the doctor is the protagonist or an antagonist or both. We will examine the story as we look at the psychological approach of the doctor and, Mathilda, the sick patient.
The biggest conflict of this story is that the doctor needs to check the patient, which is a little girl, but the patient will not let him. The Doctor seems to be ordinary and doing an ordinary duty, he comes checkups on the sick patient. But, we know that there is more to the story because his thoughts. Before we go in depth of the story, we need to analyze the…show more content…
After all, I had already fallen in love with the savage brat, the parents were contemptible to me.” (628-631) He knows the parents are poor and can’t afford a hospital so, they will agree to force open their daughter mouth. He takes advantage of the situation. It is not what doctors do. He is not just enjoying the fight of the child; I believe he loves it. The doctor does get the young girls mouth open and she does has the disease. In the end, he seems to be reasoning with himself of overpowering a child. I reflect he was reassuring himself that he did it for the sake of society that he did do the right thing. It is puzzling because he does genuinely care about the child. “But I have seen at least two children lying dead in bed of neglect in such cases, and feeling that I must get a diagnosis now or never I went at it again.” (628-631) He does care about a patient in need and that just ironic.
To be candid, the doctor is in dilemma if he leaves the girl alone he will not be able to check if she has Diphtheria and she may possibly die. If he continues he will have to use some kind of method to get her mouth. It not the method we in the modern day would take. He will have to resort to measures that are socially and morally unacceptable and even cruel. Although it seems brutal using force, it was the only remaining way for the doctor to check Mathilda's condition to take appropriate action.
Additionally, the parents play a role into the story. The
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.)