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THE USE OF FORCE

William Carlos Williams

THE CHARACTERS

THE DOCTOR
Summoned by the parents to look at Olsons throat to check whats wrong (& to possibly cure it in the future) Knowledgeable, of great power, and in command Represents the educated and those who have greater power in the society; those who use force on the less powerful in order to fulfill what they want and what they claim is for the better

MATHILDA
Was checked for possible diphtheria Struggled to resist the doctor in opening her mouth but was

overpowered
Embodies those who have less power in the society, who are controlled by those on top

THE PARENTS
They brought their child to the doctor in their hopes of getting her disease cured Symbolizes those who arent really helpless, neither in command, but knows what is necessary in achieving a goal that they are made to believe is for the better

THE SCENES

When the doctor arrived at the familys house, the parents showed both hopefulness and distrust

The intellectuals are respected and their opinions trusted, thus


giving them power to control those with lower positions in the society

The doctor tried to approach the family politely and


convince the child that he is harmless
They try to convince the people that what they are only trying to
achieve is the societys development and show them that they are harmless and trustworthy (in terms of their knowledge and

abilities)

The child clawed at the doctor while he was trying to get near her. This made him impatient so he scared the girl into opening her mouth(Will you open it now by yourself or shall we
have to open it for you?)

The disobedience and stubborness of the people can cause


those in power to be impatient and to use force in making the people fulfill their goals

The parents tried to help the doctor force the child to open her mouth, but both were hesitant to do so because of shame and the dread of hurting her

There are people who are convinced by the promise of development


and are helping the powerful in implementing the policies that are claimed to be necessary, although they themselves are in doubt of

the means of doing so

The childs mouth bled in her 2nd struggle, but the doctor was more eager to look at her throat, almost turning his supposedly medical intentions into an obsession

The powerfuls attempt to make the people participate in their


pursuit had at some point, turned into an obsession and serving more of their personal wants

The doctor then took hold of the childs neck and jaws and was successful in his pursuit. The child cried in defeat

Those in greater power usually win and hurt the less powerful,
who thus continues to struggle against oppression.

THE CONCLUSION

INTERPRETATION
The short story talks about how those in power resort to violence when trying to force the weak into doing what they want. At first, the problem about the weaks disobedience i.s being approached in a less physical way, using knowledge and the force of argument as the means of doing so. But as the weak tries to struggle, and as the powerfuls motivation grows into a selfish obsession, violence arises.

APPLICATION
This theme can be applied in a number of situations, both in the macro and micro-level. In the capitalist society, this can be shown in the struggle of the poor against the oppression of the well-off. This can also be shown in homes through domestic violence, through the relationship of policemen and their prisoners in jails, and in classrooms where harsh disciplinary measures are practiced.

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