The Hurt Man
Wendell Berry’s short story ”the Hurt Man” is about life, and the small lessons life teaches you. As a toddler, you may not understand everything going on in your life, but just accept the everyday happenings as they pass you by. As you age you will develop a greater understanding of life and at some point you will possess a greater understanding of life entirely, and you will become more prepared for the future, that you are undeniably going to have to endure. Usually feelings such as ‘love’ and ‘sorrow’ aren’t experienced as early as it is for Mat Feltner – the story’s protagonist.
Mat Feltner, the main character in this short story, is living in the town Port William in the year of 1888, together with his mom Nancy and his father Ben Feltner. The birth of Mat was a blessing to his parents. Before Mat, three siblings were born, but they had not been able to handle the challenges life had imposed upon them. Mat was an only child, albeit he could have had three bigger siblings with whom he could have spent his life, but at that time Mat didn’t know the meaning of loss and of course he didn’t know how it would have felt to have siblings considering they had all died before his birth, so he couldn’t really commit to the fact. Nancy, Mat’s mother, loved her son, and she wouldn’t risk something happening to him. She watched him closely and she wouldn’t let Mat out of sight. But Nancy was also a strong woman, and even though she knew that the world was a risky place, she also knew that she had to risk her son to it, as she had done with the others - she couldn’t keep watching him forever. At some point she had to let him go, so he could experience life on his own. But for the being, she would take care of him. Port William was not particularly safe place to raise a boy. The main road, which in rainy times wouldn’t even be considered a road, formed the centre of the city. At one end of the town, you would find the school and in the other...
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