The Hurt Man

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The Hurt Man

Nothing in life is certain except one single thing: death and it is coming for us all. We cannot do anything to prevent it, though we can hold it off for a little while. In our life we will eventually get hurt by the ones we love, thus our lives on earth has and will always be filled with sorrow and disappointment, but the difference lay in how we deal with it. The main character, Mat Feltner discovers that death is inevitable in such a young age, when “The Hurt Man” enters his life and thereby changes everything that he had ever known in and about life.

The short story “The Hurt Man” by Wendell Berry takes place on a hot Sunday afternoon precisely, in the late summer of 1888 in the town: Port William. It is a relatively small town, though it has all necessities as a school, church, bank etc. a town could need to function. Wendell Berry has written thirty-five short stories and eight novels and the setting in all of them is situated around or in the fictive town: Port William in Kentucky. They are always surrounding the four families: the Beechum, Feltner, Coulter, and Wheeler. This story is mostly about the Feltners, but the mother Nancy is from the family Beechum and is married into the Feltners – “Nancy Beechum Feltner”. Other signs to facilitate that the action takes place in America, are the bars which are called “saloons” and on the first page “Cass’s husband, who had been slaves” l.29. At this time England had not had slaves for nearly 100 years, therefore it must be referring to America who first abolished slavery in 1865. The story is told in past tense by an omniscient narrator, though it is seen from the perspective of the main character Mat. The narrator is not Mat because the whole story is told in third person for example “Mat ran halfway up the stairs...” l. 68. “The Hurt Man” is told as a flash-back, which is noticeable in lines like the one, where the reader is told that Margaret Finley is his soon to be, wife and that they...
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