"A Day's Wait" is a slice of life story. Explain the characteristics of this type of story.Give examples from the story to support your points.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ernest Hemingway's "A Day's Wait" does fit most of the characteristics of a slice of life story. A typical slice of life story is a short narrative of a specific event--often termed a "cut-out"--that occurs in a person's life, often seemingly insignificant yet somehow meaningful. Many of the normal literary elements found in other styles of fiction--such as exposition, character development and denouement--are often missing in slice of life fiction. In "A Day's Wait," Hemingway has chosen a day in the life of Schatz, who comes down with the flu and, overhearing the doctor's diagnosis, misinterprets the severity of his temperature--confusing the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales. He eventually recovers, but his father finds that he cries "very easily at things that were of no importance." It is a simple tale that occurs over approximately a 24 hour period, with little conflict (other than the boy's unnecessary worries about dying), characterization or plot development. Interestingly, Hemingway probably based this story on a real event from his life, since it presumably takes place in France (where Hemingway lived); and the author's eldest son, Bumby, was nicknamed "Schatz" by his Papa.