The short story "A Day's Wait" by Ernest Hemingway tells of a nine-year-old boy who becomes ill with a fever. His father, the narrator, sends him to bed and calls for the doctor. The doctor informs the father in the boy's presence that he has a temperature of...
The short story "A Day's Wait" by Ernest Hemingway tells of a nine-year-old boy who becomes ill with a fever. His father, the narrator, sends him to bed and calls for the doctor. The doctor informs the father in the boy's presence that he has a temperature of 102 degrees. Downstairs out of the boy's earshot, the doctor says the boy will be fine and prescribes medicine. When the father tries to read to his son, the boy seems worried and distracted and refuses to sleep.
After the father returns from hunting, the boy confesses that he is waiting to die. In France where he attended school he was told that people with temperatures above 44 would die, and his is 102. The father explains that the means of measurement are different and that the boy is in no danger. After the explanation, the boy is able to sleep, but the next day he is emotionally sensitive.
The titles of stories are very important, as they are the first things readers notice when they are considering reading a piece of literature. Authors choose titles for several reasons. For instance, some titles reflect the theme of a story, the name of the main character, or the protagonist's occupation. Other titles might use a quote from a famous poem or song.
"A Day's Wait" has a seemingly very simple title. When you first hear it, you might think of waiting for a train or a bus, waiting for a special person to arrive, or waiting for an important event. However, the title takes on great significance when you realize that the boy has not merely been waiting for an important situation or circumstance. Fully convinced that his sickness is beyond cure, the boy has been waiting to die. All day he has been waiting for his very existence to be snuffed out. When you look at the title from this perspective, it has special meaning, so yes, it is a good title.