The Hurt Man

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The Hurt Man

Life consists of many things, both good and bad. Loss is an inevitable part of life, which most people experience at some point. To some people, the loss of someone dear, causes an epiphany, or a reminder, of that life is fragile and that no one is immortal. In the story “The Hurt Man” (2003) by Wendell Berry, we hear about a young boy, named Mat, who in an early point of life experiences that there is no such thing as immortality, which to him comes as an epiphany.

“The Hurt Man” is told by a third person omniscient narrator. The point of view is changing during the story. The reader experiences the events in the story both from Mat and Nancy’s point of view. The changing point of view does that the reader is not left with one interpretation of the events. Furthermore, the narrator uses predictions and omens in the story: “Nancy Beechum Feltner was not a frightened woman, as her son would learn.” (l. 38). That helps create excitement for the reader and the reader expects an ending that relieves the excitement and explains the omens.

Mat Feltner is a five-year-old boy living in the Town of Port Welling. He is a curious and active boy, like most other boys his age. He is the last born in a group of 4 children. His older siblings have all passed away, and his parents see him as “a blessing”. Due to his young age, Mat does not has much life experience and do not know much about life yet. His mother, on the other hand, has a great deal of life experience due to the fact that she has lost 3 children and gives birth to Mat in a late age: “Mat had come late into the lives of Nancy and Ben Feltner.” (l. 26). She always wears black to maintain her sorrows with loyalty but is still described as a woman of practical good sense and strong cheerfulness. In spite of the loss of her children, she is not a frightened woman. She is very overprotecting when it comes to Mat but she knows that she cannot protect him from all the dangers in life: “ She knew...
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