Analysis of "The Use of Force"

Topics: Conflict, Patient, Physician Pages: 3 (1129 words) Published: June 25, 2012
Taylor Wilson
Mr. McKinnon
English 1001
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. At the time, diphelria was making its way around the town’s elementary school. He had already seen two children die of disease due to neglect, so time is of the essence. As soon as the doctor mentions that he needs to look at her throat, she begins to throw a massive tantrum. Eventually the doctor is able to take a look inside the girl’s throat. It turns out her throat had been sore for three days, and she was dreading how she would be treated for that particular illness.

The main theme in this story would be conflict, both internal and external. Between the parents, child, and doctor, they all use those forms of conflict. At the beginning of the story, when the child first starts to act up, external conflict is introduced. She begins to kick, scream, and attempts to claw at the doctor’s eyes. She could be acting this way for a couple of reasons. The girl could be acting stubborn because she is mad at her parents for calling the doctor, or she could just be scared of how the doctor will treat her diagnosis. By being resistant, the child is thinking that throwing a fit will get her out of seeing the doctor. The parents try to help the situation by acting calm and sweet, they make a mistake when they tell the little girl,...
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