How would you estimate the story "A Day's Wait" by Ernest Hemingway?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Little Schatz is suffering not only from the flu in Ernest Hemingway's short story, "A Day's Wait," but also from a case of misunderstanding. The boy's father has taken the precaution of having a doctor check on his son's illness, and Schatz overhears the doctor proclaim his temperature as 102 degrees. Schatz determines that he will soon die, since he knows that no one can live with such a high temperature. The father observes his son's "detached" emotions but doesn't understand them until the boy asks when he will die. Only then do we discover the boy's mistake: He has assumed that the doctor's temperature was based on the centigrade scale--not Fahrenheit. In the end, the father notes that Schatz soon recovered from his sickness but that he was not quite normal: He cried "very easily at little things that were of no importance." He had rid himself of the flu, but not the memory of his first brush with death.