Narrative Structure and Imagery
In regards to technical and narrative structure, “The usage of Force” by wilhelm Carlos Williams is a short, image-driven story told indigenous the view of a first-person narrator. Williams eschews quotation clues in his text, instead enabling the doctor’s thoughts to mingle through his observations of the child and also her parents. He employs minimal amounts of figurative language and also instead defines the action using straightforward but visually evocative language.
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The diction provided to describe the doctor’s significantly violent efforts—the tongue depressor that is “reduced come splinters” and also the “heavy silver spoon” the the doctor pressures “back of she teeth and also down her neck till she gagged”—all convey an image of harm and also violation. In contrast to the doctor’s purposes as a healer, the approaches he uses result in Mathilda’s mouth bleeding and her eye being blinded through “tears that defeat.”
The visceral images that Williams offers to describe the check evoke a philosophical commentary ~ above the nature the violence. The patient is one ill young girl, and also the doctor is an adult man. Traditionally, physicians are icons of healing and rationality who protect, nurture, and cure vulnerable kids such as Mathilda. In turn, youngsters are typically presented as weak and also fragile once ill or injured, bedridden and miserably compliant. Both of this characterizations space subverted by Williams, who instead portrays the physician as having actually been pushed “beyond reason” and also diphtheria-stricken Mathilda together an animalistic “brat” with the stamin of a “heifer.” The dynamic of doctor and also patient is no much longer a collaborative, healing-focused one, yet rather a tense battle of wills that culminates in the doctor overpowering his dilute patient. Ultimately, public wellness takes precedence over Mathilda’s desires, and also she is rendered impotent by the superior authority granted come the physician as a clinical professional.
Biographical Elements and Ruminations on clinical Ethics
Williams spent much of his life functioning in a comparable capacity come the doctor in the story, serving together a doctor at a hospital. His suffer as a physician generally informed his writing, and it available him a unique perspective on the relationship in between doctor and also patient. In addition to gift a occupational of literature, “The use of Force” is also a fictionalized rumination on medical ethics and also the fallibility that doctors. In Williams’s hands, the doctor is not a beacon of logic and healing, however rather a an extremely human individual capable of frustration, aggression, and also bouts the irrationality. Despite he ultimately has his patient’s best interests in ~ heart, the is still vulnerable to the much more violent, primal trappings of human being nature and takes a sadistic glee in forcing the examination.
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Though not necessarily a sympathetic figure, the doctor is a facility one. In the procedure of doing his job, i beg your pardon Mathilda’s parents room paying him come do, that is required to usage force. Walk his shameful feeling of triumph negate the great he is law by dealing with her? What space the limitations of patience consent, particularly as involves children, when the patient is plainly working against their own interests? Ultimately, Williams leaves readers to draw their very own conclusions while quiet making clear the the usage of pressure inevitably has aftermath for every parties involved.