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The Use of Force

By jteague788 Apr 07, 2007 936 Words
The effect that the reader gets out of the story is often dependent on who is telling the story and what desired response they want. No matter who the writer is I think the audience would get a different message out of it because they would each portray their individual emotions in different ways and writing styles. "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams was told from the point of view of the doctor. There were four characters involved in the story. I believe any difference in point of view would have invoked an alternate response from the reader.

Since the doctor was the one telling the story that made it so that we, the audience, saw everything through his eyes. We got his perspective on the situation. The main issue that he was having was getting the little girls mouth open wide enough for a long enough period of time to get a throat culture. Seeing it through his point of view made us see how and why it was important for him to do this. However, if it had been through another character's point of view we may have had some trouble understanding his reasoning. He did say that he had "fallen in love with the savage brat" and I think this had a big effect on the audience believing that the parents knew nothing about their daughter. It made it seem like the doctor knew more about the child just because he was, in fact, a doctor. As if him having seen her physical appearance for a few minutes had made him an expert on her particular situation. When he says that the things the parents are saying such as "he won't hurt you" or "The nice man" are making her skeptical towards him, we automatically assume that he is correct and these are the wrong things to say in this situation. Again I feel if it was told from someone else's perspective, such as the parents, this would seem like the right thing to say to comfort her.

If it had been through the little girls point of view, we may have felt some more sympathy towards her. Instead, I personally felt anger towards her at being so uncooperative with the doctor. The doctor is being so nice to her and she does not act at all in the same way towards him. The way that she acts begins to change his attitude towards her; In the beginning he had feelings of love and sympathy for her and in the end he begins to get angry, not only with her but the entire situation. From her perspective we may have had more understanding on why she had lied to her parents that her throat did not hurt at all when in fact it had been hurting the whole time. There may have been reasoning behind her motives. Most likely, the little girl sees this man as the enemy. He wants to know what is wrong with her and he is the one that is going to uncover her throat that she is trying so desperately to protect. We do not really get much understanding of why she is doing what she is doing. Her motives and actions are unclear since the story is not told from her point of view.

Again, the response of the audience would be different if told from the point of view of the mother and the father. They obviously feel sympathy towards their child as well as worried at the fact that their child could possibly die. The emotion invoked in the parent of a child cannot be felt by a doctor that is not emotionally connected to that child. This is why the doctor could never get the same response from the readers as a parent telling the story could. Since it is not told from their point of view I instead have feelings of anger towards both parents for not helping the doctor out more and for the father just becoming angry and ordering his wife to get out since she clearly was not helping. If they had told the story it would have been obvious that they knew their daughter and they were hurting from not knowing what was wrong with her, as any parent would most likely feel in this situation. Where the doctor made it seem as if the parents were not at all helping, if told from their point of view it may seem the exact opposite. That in fact they were doing all the hard work and the way the doctor was acting was what was making their daughter unwilling. There is no possible way to know, however, since it is not told from the perspective of the parent.

The focus of this story was mainly from the doctor's perspective. There were points when the parents emotions were expressed through the doctor because he was feeling sorry for them or angry towards them. When it came to the daughter, much of the way she was feeling was left out since it was not told from her point of view. I felt she should have had much more significance in the story since it was about her being sick and finding out what it was she had come down with. If we had heard it from any other characters point of view I think that we may have had more sympathy towards that character, rather than the doctor. This just goes to show that the point of view is an important factor in a story.

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