An Essay On "The Doctor And The Doctor's Wife"

1221 words - 5 pages

An Essay on ”The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife”

By Ernest Hemingway

Seemingly, masculinity is a big part of men’s identity. Masculinity is usually associated with courage, independence, and assertiveness, and if a man’s pride is discriminated or somehow threatened, he will often do whatever is necessary to regain his pride. Thus, this might result in unethical behaviour. This is dealt with in Ernest Hemingway’s short story “The Doctor and the Doctor’s wife” from 1925 where masculinity is an overall theme and where he uses contrast and his iceberg technique to get his message across. Good intro (but remember to put two writing devices in)

As stated, Hemingway illustrates the ...view middle of the document...

To begin with, Boulton is from another social class than the Doctor. Even though Boulton works for the Doctor he allows himself to command and talk down to the Doctor: ““Wash it off. Clean off the sand on account of the saw. I want to see who it belongs to”. (Line 23-24, Page 13).” This is very embarrassing to the Doctor, and this creates an intense situation where the positions of power change. The Doctor who is supposed to be in charge gets his position and therefore his masculinity threatened. Also the Doctor feels offended with the accusations that Boulton makes, though the Doctor knows that the logs are stolen. The doctor is deeply embarrassed and angry about these accusations. Therefore the Doctor threatens Dick: “I’ll knock your eye teeth down your throat.” (Line 9-10, Page 13), but the Doctor and the three Indian men are all aware that the Doctor is not in any position to beat Boulton in a fight. Boulton is much bigger and enjoys getting into to fights: “Dick was a big man…He liked to get into fights.” (Line 11-13, Page 13). Boulton is somehow a contrast to the Doctor since he is not a hypocrite or a coward, but instead a very brave and strong man. In stead of fighting Boulton, the Doctor asks the three men to leave if they don’t believe him, and afterwards the Doctor walks back to the house. By walking away the Doctor avoids the conflict, but in a way he behaves like a coward, and when the men laugh at the Doctor, Hemingway empathizes with the fact that the doctor’s masculinity just failed.
When the three men leaves, Boulton doesn’t close the gate, which could symbolize that the conflict isn’t over yet, and that Boulton might will return. We could assume this, since Hemingway often uses the iceberg theory in his short stories. The iceberg theory is characterized by minimalism and that there is more under the surface. Therefore it’s not just a coincidence that Boulton leaves the gate open. Also this whole situation is not just about the Doctor who is caught in a lie, but that he doesn’t meet the expectations that come with being a masculine male. He fails to be a man. The title “The doctor and the Doctors Wife” therefore makes great sense, since Nick’s father is nothing but a doctor, and the wife is nothing but a wife. The doctor sees his wife as nothing but a wife, since he doesn’t respect her point of view on Christian values by stealing the logs. The...

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