I believe Hemingway came up with the perfect title for his short story, "A Day's Wait." The story deals with a boy, Schatz, who has come down with the flu and overhears his doctor and father discussing his temperature--102 degrees. We find later that the boy has mistakenly believed the temperature to be Celsius, not Fahrenheit; he knows that no person can live with such a high temperature, so he spends the next day awaiting death. When his father discovers the reason for Schatz's hopeless mood, he laughs and explains that all will be well. We can only imagine what went through poor, young Schatz's head during those long 24 hours--dealing with his impending death alone and in an admirably brave manner, not wishing to upset his father--who, in the boy's eyes, seems somewhat unconcerned. Of course, the father understands that the flu will pass. However, in the end after the illness had passed, the boy reverted to crying "very easily at little things that were of no importance."
(It) suggests how easily the reader too can misinterpret information. Was this the boy's regular reaction to the little things in life (had he in fact returned to normal), or had his long day's wait for death affected him forever?