Table of Contents
- Schatz: A nine-year-old boy
- Schatz’s father: The Narrator
- The doctor: He then gives the father medicine for his son and tells him that the boy has influenza
One of Ernest Hemingway’s shortest short stories, “A Day’s Wait,” is only a few pages long. It appeared in his collection The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories, which was released in 1927. Even though it isn’t one of Hemingway’s most well-known stories, “A Day’s Wait” is weirdly reflective of his body of work because it touches on several essential aspects of his writing in just a few pages.
Discovering the child is ill
The father of a nine-year-old kid with the nickname Schatz, who is unnamed in this account, discovers one morning that his son seems ill. When his father touches the youngster’s forehead to feel for a fever, the boy admits that he is ill but refuses to get back into bed.
The youngster will be examined by the doctor. After taking the boy’s temperature, he informs them that the boy has a 102-degree fever. The boy has moderate influenza, which, according to the doctor downstairs, is not hazardous as long as the fever stays below 104 degrees, and the boy’s father is given medicine.
The father and son’s relationship
The father reads aloud to his son from a book about pirates after the doctor departs. He remarks that the youngster appears quite frail and unfocused. Eventually, the youngster says to his father, “If that concerns you, you don’t have to stay in the room with me.” The youngster repeatedly says, “No, I mean you don’t have to remain if it’s going to annoy you,” in response to his father’s denial of the claim. The father gives his son additional medication and then leaves him alone to relax, thinking that his son must be feeling a little dizzy.
The father takes his dog outdoors to go quail hunting. Frozen sleet had completely covered the landscape. Due to the frigid weather, he struggles to kill a few birds, but he is pleased to have located a covey of quail nearby and looks forward to hunting more birds in the future.
The son’s battle with fever
When he gets home, he discovers that the youngster has kept everyone out of his room because he is so worried about spreading his fever to others. However, the father enters and takes his temperature once more, which is 102.4 degrees. When the youngster inquires about the temperature, his father responds that there is no need for concern. The young man acknowledges that he can’t stop thinking about it. When his father administers the subsequent dose of the youngster’s medication, the boy inquires as to its efficacy. Although his father reassures him that it will, the youngster still appears distracted.
The youngster asks his father abruptly what time he will pass away. After being scared, the father reassures his son that he won’t pass away. The child responds that he overheard the doctor mention that his temperature was 102 degrees and that he had heard from his French classmates that fever of more than 44 degrees is fatal. The father discovers that his son has been waiting to die all day.
He explains to the youngster that just as miles and kilometers are various units of distance, so are thermometers and units of temperature in France and America. The boy only utters “Oh,” but his entire body unwinds. The father notes at the end of the story that the youngster had lost “control over himself” the next day and was now “crying quite easily at things that were of no concern.”
How emotionally and psychologically damaging a miscommunication maybe is demonstrated in “A Day’s Wait.” Young Schatz should hopefully gain confidence in his father as a result of this experience and make sure that any assumptions he makes about new facts are accurate.