Questions and Answers for The Use of Force

The Use of Force

In "The Use of Force," what is the conflict of the story?

The central conflict in “The Use of Force” by William Carlos Williams is between the doctor and his stubborn patient Mathilda Olson. The two become involved in a battle of wills which culminates in...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2021 11:09 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Use of Force

What is the central idea in the short story "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams?

The main idea in "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams is that the use of force itself, no matter how morally good the purpose, corrupts the user. The story starts out portraying the...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2015 11:48 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What's the setting of "The Use of Force"?

Although "The Use of Force" is a work of fiction, it is based on the actual experiences of William Carlos Williams, who was a doctor, specializing in pediatrics and family medicine, as well as a...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2018 5:30 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Use of Force

What's the moral of the story "The Use of Force"?

One moral of the story is that when authorities are empowered to use force, they may go beyond rational limits and become sadistic. In "The Use of Force," the reader senses that the doctor has had...

Latest answer posted June 25, 2015 10:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What are the examples of symbolism in "The Use of Force?"

William’s story takes a mundane interaction—a doctor trying to look at a girl’s tonsils—and turns it into a very dark story of domination. So in a sense, the entire story can be seen as symbolic of...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2018 1:29 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Use of Force

In the final analysis, how and why did the parents, the child, and the doctor use force in "Use Of Force"?

In Williams' story "The Use of Force," a worried family pays for a doctor to make a house call to examine their young daughter. They are a poor rural family, for whom even the doctor's modest fee...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2016 10:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What is the tone of the story "The Use of Force"?

The story is told in the form of an anecdote. The narrator addresses the reader in an informal way, as if confiding in a colleague. The tone is not exactly humorous, but there is a sense that the...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2018 1:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

In the the Use of Force, is it justified or unjustified for the doctor to use violence on the girl Mathilda? Why or...

This story is a classic case of the age-old question, "is the end justified by the means?" The "ends" in this story is trying to determine if the little girl has diphtheria, which is deadly at the...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2010 11:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Please could you explain the title of "The Use of Force" to me?

By using the scenario of a doctor treating a patient who really does not want to be treated, the author examines the ethical use of force that can be argued is necessary at times. However it also...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2012 1:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Why does Mathilda resist the doctor's examination? What is Williams saying about the use of force?

Mathilda resents the doctor coming to see her as it will mean that her parents will find out that she's suffering from diphtheria, a potentially fatal illness. Children often keep secrets from...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2020 6:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

In "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams, what is the extended metaphor used?

The language used in "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams tends, like the language of his poetry, to be simple and direct, eschewing such literary devices as metaphor. The incident is...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2015 5:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Where is the foreshadowing in "The Use of Force"?

Though the story is a very short one, we can find plenty of foreshadowing within the first few paragraphs. Let's take a look at each instance of foreshadowing in the order in which we encounter...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2016 10:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Why is the dialogue in "The Use of Force" not put in quotation marks?

This is an interesting aspect of this story that is worthy of closer attention. The technique of conveying dialogue without the use of quotation marks seems to hint at the deeper significance of...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2011 1:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What are some similar topics in "the Use of Force" and "The Giraffe" by Mauro Senesi?

In both short stories, "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams and "The Giraffe" by Mauro Senesi, the authors focus on the topic of ignorance of children and adults. In "The Use of Force,"...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2018 12:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

In "The Use of Force," why does the doctor identify with his patient rather than with her parents?

The doctor identifies with his patient rather than her parents because she's full of self-possession, but the parents are getting in the doctor's way with the annoying, phony, unhelpful way in...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2016 10:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What is the major conflict in "The Use of Force"? What causes it? How is it resolved?

"The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams is a short story about a doctor paying a house call to a poor rural family. Their daughter is ill and although the doctor's modest fee is difficult for...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2016 3:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Evaluate the professionalism of the doctor in "the Use of Force" and "the Steel Windpipe"

Hello! Both 'The Use of Force' (by William Carlos Williams) and 'The Steel Windpipe' (by Mikhail Bulgakov) are short doctor stories about the trials of dealing with young patients and their anxious...

Latest answer posted May 18, 2015 9:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Examine the attitude of Mathilda's parents towards her.

It is evident that the parents are concerned about Mathilda. The doctor's initial impressions of them confirm as much: "I could see that they were all very nervous, eyeing me up and down...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2013 3:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What literary elements and/or techniques did William Carlos Williams use in the short story "The Use of Force"?

In the short story “The Use of Force,” William Carlos Williams uses a number of different literary techniques. For example, in the fourth paragraph, the narrator says, “The child was fairly eating...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2019 1:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What is it about the doctor in "The Use of Force" that makes the reader a bit uncomfortable?

The doctor in “The Use of Force” quickly develops from a seemingly kindhearted caregiver into an angry, out-of-control, and sadistic figure of authority. Because the story is narrated by the...

Latest answer posted June 15, 2020 4:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What are three words that describe the setting of "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams?

Three words that describe the setting in William Carlos Williams's "The Use of Force" are "remote," "rural," and "hostile."The short story takes place in a remote setting. The narrator is a...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2019 10:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

In "The Use of Force" what do the moments of the doctor's violence say about him? 

The doctor’s violence says that he is a predator. Although the doctor claims that he is mostly just concerned that the little girl is ill and going to spread an epidemic, he is getting way too...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2015 3:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

In "The Use of Force," why don't the parents do anything about the way the doctor uses too much force?

In Williams's short story, the parents don't do anything about the force the doctor uses because they believe the doctor's diagnosis is the key to figuring out why their child is ill. The parents...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2014 10:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Do the little girl's parents trust the doctor in "The Use of Force"? If so why do they trust him? Do they have a...

No, the girl’s parents should not trust the doctor because he has no business being anywhere near their child. They trust him because they fear for their daughter’s life. The story demonstrates a...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2015 4:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Why did William Carlos Williams write the short story "The Use of Force"?

The short answer to the question of why William Carlos Williams wrote the short story "The Use of Force" is that we don't actually know and it doesn't really matter. Not only is it not possible to...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2015 12:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

 In Williams's "The Use of Force," what is power, and why is it important for the doctor as well as the child?

The story presents power as the ability to command compliance or resist compliance, and specifically, to determine whether or not the throat exam will take place. This power is important for both...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2016 9:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What are three reasons for the point of view used in "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams?

In the short story “The Use of Force,” writer and physician William Carlos Williams describes a doctor's house call to a rural home to examine a sick girl named Matilda Olsen. The story is told...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2020 8:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

When does the girl lie to her parents in "The Use of Force"?

There are a number of possible reasons why Mathilda lies to her parents about having a sore throat. For one thing, she's aware that that there's been a nasty case of diphtheria doing the rounds at...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2019 8:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Examples of details and figurative language in the story “The Use of Force” and why they are effective.

"The Use of Force" describes a brief battle of wills, accompanied by a physical tussle, between a doctor and a girl who refuses to cooperate by giving him a sample. The girl is silent for most of...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2020 7:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What does "a feeling of shame" mean in "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams?

"The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams is a short story about a doctor's visit to a sick child, back in a period when rural doctors made house calls. It is written in the first person, from...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2015 11:45 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What are the different types of force that are used in the story?

"The Use of Force" is a short story by William Carlos Williams, in his 1938 collection Life Along the Passaic River. It's about a doctor who has to force a young girl, Mathilda, to open her mouth...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2018 6:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

In the story "The use of Force" does it seem that the doctor is insane in his physicality with the child?

I think that the "insane" term could be applied to the doctor. Yet, I would also suggest that it might help to understand the full meaning of the story if labels like "sane" and "insane" are put...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2012 7:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

How can we compare "The Use of Force" to real life?

This is a very interesting story to try and compare it to real life. However, I would take issue with your question, as it implies that the events contained within the story are not realistic or...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2011 3:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

In the story, who can be considered the "good guys" and the "bad guys?"

I think that the greatness of the story is that it really does not include the idea of "good" and "bad" guys. There are human beings who are capable of some fairly dark and intense elements if the...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2012 2:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What does "abject" mean as it is used in the sentence?

As it's used in the story, "abject" means "desperate" or "despicable and low." Let's take a look at it in context: "After all, I had already fallen in love with the savage brat, the parents were...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2016 9:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

In "The Use of Force," I find that the narrator refers to the parents as the father and the mother. Why is this?

The overwhelming force of this short and powerful narrative is to convey the experience of the doctor as something that is universal and deeply symbolic, that people of all ages, cultures and...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2011 6:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What is at stake in "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams?  

"The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams is a short story written in the first person. The narrator, like Williams himself, is a doctor. He is paying a house call to a family because their...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2016 9:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

In The Use of Force, why does the doctor say, "as often, in such cases"? What sort of cases does he mean??

In The Use of Force, the doctor says “as often in such cases” because he has encountered similar instances where he has had to use force rather than reasoned professionalism to carry out his duty....

Latest answer posted July 16, 2015 11:32 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

In "The Use of Force," did the girl really have diphtheria or not?

"The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams in narrated in the first person by a doctor making a house call to a poor rural family whose daughter is sick. We find out early in the story that...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2016 9:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Compare and contrast "The Use of Force" (by William Carlos Williams) and "The Giraffe" (by Mauro Senesi).

The two stories we are comparing here are not, at first glance, an obvious pairing. The first story was written in the nineteenth century and is about a doctor who finds himself engaged in a battle...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2018 7:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

According to the story "The Use of Force," what career or life example could I use to support my argument?

I have to say that your question is not too clear at all. What specifically are you trying to prove in your argument? That of course will impact the answer to this question a great deal. However,...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2011 6:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Compare and contrast the topic of ignorance in "The Use of Force" and "The Giraffe."

While ignorance is displayed by a whole community in "The Giraffe," only one individual exhibits this negative trait in "The Use Of Force." In "The Use Of Force," a little girl displays her...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2018 8:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

What would be a good thesis statement for a comparative essay, with topics of power and ignorance, on the books "The...

If you're writing a comparative essay, you may decide to discuss the relationship between power and ignorance in both stories. However, before you do that, you will need to decide what sort of...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2018 7:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

How would you relate "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams and Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative...

William Carlos Williams's short story "The Use of Force" is a clear demonstration of the phallocentrism and erotic violence discussed in Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema." In...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2018 11:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Compare/contrast female emancipation between "The Use of Force" and "The Horse Dealer's Daughter".

While both heroines in The Use of Force and The Horse Dealer's Daughter struggle to maintain their courage in the face of challenges, there are marked differences between the two. The heroine in...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2016 4:17 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Use of Force

Is it reasonable to expect that medical treatments sometimes require the use of force?

In “The Use of Force,” the doctor is in a difficult situation. By making it clear that the child will die if she is not treated and also stating the public health implications of untreated...

Latest answer posted March 21, 2016 8:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer