Analysis of Ernest Hemingway's A Day's Wait

Topics: Ernest Hemingway, Anxiety, Thought Pages: 6 (2351 words) Published: December 12, 2013
Analysis of a Novel “A Day’s Wait” by Ernest Hemingway “A Day’s Wait” is a novel written by Ernest Hemingway in 1933. The events described in the story happen during a day. That is why the title of the story is suggestive as it presumes some kind of expectation. This title is very important for the novel as it focuses the reader's attention on the following information and main idea of the story. The title of the novel is one of means that the author uses to help the reader to understand the text fully and clearly and make the main idea more pronounced. The novel includes several themes, for example: the idea of suffering, of heroism, of misunderstanding. The idea of heroism is expressed through the boy’s behavior. He is ill, he thinks he is going to die. But while fighting his fear and illness he’s trying to protect his family. As he doesn’t want them to contract the disease he has he doesn’t let his relatives in his room. He prefers to suffer alone rather than let his family suffer because of him. Behavior like that describes him as a brave and courageous man, though he is only a nine years old boy. “At the house they said the boy had refused to let anyone come into the room. "You can't come in," he said. "You mustn't get what I have."” Also there is an idea of suffering without any reason, when the problems are not real but invented by people. The boy is mislead by false information about his physical condition which causes a day of mental torment for him as he is waiting for his death, not knowing that he is comparatively well. "You poor Schatz," I said. "Poor old Schatz, it's like miles and kilometers. You aren't going to die. That's a different thermometer. On that thermometer thirty-seven is normal. On this kind it's ninety-eight." But the main theme of the novel is family relations, particularly misunderstanding in the family, suffering of the boy and the father who doesn’t understand him. The author gives us an opportunity to see the day of a family life at it is, without any adorning. The story is about a nine-year-old boy who becomes sick one winter night. After a doctor is called, it is determined that Schatz has contracted the flu and has a high fever. It is considered only a mild case, and the doctor leaves medicine for the boy, who overhears the physician tell the father that the boy's temperature is 102 degrees. So the boy believes he is going to die but keeps his thoughts to himself. Nobody except him is aware about his worries. It causes great misunderstanding between the boy and his father, which is clear from their dialogue. “After a while he said to me, "You don't have to stay in here with me, Papa, if it bothers you." "It doesn't bother me."

"No, I mean you don't have to stay if it's going to bother you." I thought perhaps he was a little light-headed and after giving him the prescribed capsules at eleven o'clock I went out for a while.” Talking to each other they really mean different things. The boy means his death when he says that he suggests father’s leaving the room if it bothers him. The father says that staying with his son doesn’t bother him. They talk to each other and don’t understand each other as they were speaking in different languages. The same misunderstanding happens twice, with the difference that at the second time the boy reveals his concerns at last and the story comes to its logical conclusion. “Your temperature is all right," I said. "It's nothing to worry about." "I don't worry," he said, "but I can't keep from thinking."

"Don't think," I said. "Just take it easy."
"I'm taking it easy," he said and looked worried about something.” So the main idea in the novel is fatal misunderstanding between a parent and a child. They live together and communicate with each other, but they don’t understand each other. There seems to be a wall between two generations of the family, which causes a lot of mental suffering for the boy and makes their relations incomplete. The story...
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