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William Carlos Williams “The Use of Force”

William Carlos Williams “The Use of Force” deals with a variety of emotions felt by a doctor during a house call. The story begins when a physician is summoned to make a house call on a family with whom he has had no prior contact. He quickly sizes up the situation: the household is poor but clean; the patient is a female child whose parents are nervously concerned, dependent on and yet distrustful of the doctor. The child's beauty and penetrating stare make an immediate impression on him. Concerned that diphtheria may be the cause of illness, he uses his customary professional manner to determine whether the child has a sore throat. The girl, however, won't open her mouth. She fights him off and all attempts to cajole her into compliance fail. He forces the girl's father to hold her down, while he manages to pry open her mouth after a long battle. She does, in fact, have diphtheria. “The Use of Force” is a story that employs the use of connotative language to convey its socially relevant theme within a brief conflict. William Carlos Williams uses situational irony to support his theme as seen in the quote, “Then I grasped the child's head with my left hand and tried to get the wooden tongue depressor between her teeth. She fought, with clenched teeth, desperately! But now I also had grown furious - at a child. I tried to hold myself down but I couldn't.” The rage the doctor feels towards his young sick patient is a representation of Williams message, which is the user of force loses his humanity in the minds of others. While irony is used to contrast the loss of humanity the use of symbols reinforces the main theme. The splintered tongue depressor is a contextual symbol of the doctors tolerance level. However once the wooded depressor is broken so is the doctor, which is when is asks for a spoon. This spoon represents the rage he feels towards this girl seen here, “I could have torn the child apart in my own fury and en...

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William Carlos Williams “The Use of Force”. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 12:30, October 02, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/80214.html