Deconstructing A Day’s Wait: Binary Opposition
Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Shahid Chamran University
Jacques Derrida’s theory of deconstruction on reading a text claims on the existing of binary opposition; by this he means that for each center an opposing center exists. This concept has been already confirmed by western philosophers, but Derrida objects them in the case they believe that one concept is privileged and superior to the other. Instead, he says that the oppositions can be reversed and one could be privileged to the other or vice versa, depending on their ideas and world views. This would result in a variety of new interpretations of a text here to for unseen by those who are limited to the restraints of western thoughts. Hemingway’s short story A Day’s Wait seems to posses some binary opposition. The story is about a boy of nine year who has a fever of one hundred and two Fahrenheit, but he thinks that his temperature is one hundred and two centigrade. Therefore he is convinced that he is dying, but his father explains him the difference between Fahrenheit and centigrade and the boy feels better. The concept of misunderstanding creates the opposition in the text. This essay intends to consider some of the binary oppositions within the story and explain the possibilities of different interpretations.
According to the happenings of the story, the title A Day’s Wait seems to have binary opposition in itself. On the one hand, you are waiting for the day to finish as you have done your daily works and want to start a new day with new ideas and hopes. On the other hand, you are waiting for the day to finish and then die. The theme of time is quite clear in the title. As we go through the story, we see that it plays an important role at the heart of the story.
By reading the text, one might interpret that the boy naturally fears to face death, where he...