Why is the dialogue in "The Use of Force" not put in quotation marks?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is an interesting aspect of this story that is worthy of closer attention. The technique of conveying dialogue without the use of quotation marks seems to hint at the deeper significance of this story which explores how a professional doctor becomes overwhelmed by his desire to gain physical mastery over his patient at the expense of all else. The absence of quotation marks seems to create a more dreamlike scene. If Williams had used quotation marks he would have reported a realistic event, but his choice to leave them out points towards the universal symbolism of the doctor's frenzied action and the way in which we can all take pleasure in physical mastery over another human, no matter how intelligent and "civilised" we actually are.

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