Explain how "A Day's Wait" is a slice of life story.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that "A Day's Wait" can be seen as a "slice of life" story in both theme and construction.  The most mundane of experiences is detailed in terms of a boy being sick and a father's vigil over him. There is nothing very extraordinary about the conditions in which the boy and father live.  The setting and condition is very real.  The boy's reaction and mistaken belief of his own death is very real life.  The father reading a book about pirates to his son confirms the mundane and natural of the story.  The discussion of death, a topic that is not mundane, is even framed in a mundane manner.  The boy recognizes the differences between Celsius and Fahrenheit readings.  In this small mundane fact, the boy recognizes his misunderstanding regarding death.  The fact that the ending includes "small things" that make him cry also brings out this "slice of life" element.  The story is representative of the Hemingway "local color" short story that takes a moment in real life and explores its philosophical implications.  It is for this reason that so much in the story is presented in a "slice of life" manner, for its depiction of the mundane helps to heighten the universal applications that emerge form the short story.

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