Is "A Day's Wait" a good title?

Is "A Day's Wait" a good title? 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"A Day's Wait" is an appropriate title for the story because the passage of a certain day makes all the difference in the psyche of the boy Schatz. 

Hemingway's "A Day's Wait" is what is called a slice of life story—a narrative that opens a brief window into real life and examines the philosophical implications of these moments. The narrative of "A Day's Wait" revolves around a boy's fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit that the child misinterprets as 102 degrees Celsius because he has gone to school in France.

When his father leaves Schatz alone to rest, he does not realize that his son thinks he will soon die: Poor Schatz lies awake in his room, waiting throughout the day in the belief that he will not be alive the next day.

He lay still in the bed and seemed very detached from what was going on. . . [he] refused to let any one come into the room.

When Schatz's father returns, he takes his son's temperature, and Schatz asks him what the thermometer has read. "Something like a hundred," the father lies. "It was a hundred and two," Schatz counters. Then, the father notices that Schatz has been "holding tight onto himself about something."

When the father gets Schatz to reveal what he has been thinking, he realizes that Schatz "had been waiting to die all day, ever since nine o'clock in the morning." Sadly, Schatz's "day's wait" has been unnecessarily stressful because his fever is not dangerous. His father explains the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit, and although Schatz is relieved and "the hold over himself relaxed, too," the boy is no longer the same, and he cries easily.

Read the study guide:
A Day's Wait

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