The Conflict In The Short Story — страница 2

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that it was the evil in their own hearts that made the townspeople assume evil existed in Wing Biddlebaum. Without this benefit, the protagonist, far from evil, must have felt great pain. It seems that his only joy in life is conversations with a secondary character, George Willard. In these conversations, Wing is able to do what he loves: teach. His discussions with George are the only times that Wing seems able to lose some of his timidity. It is almost as if Mr. Biddlebaum has regressed to the days before the tragedy of his being wrongfully accused, and has allowed himself to weave dreams again. George Willard is the son of the proprietor of the new Willard House. He is also a reporter for the local newspaper. His age is unstated, but one might guess that he is young (18-20

years) enough not to consider Biddlebaum a peer and also to grant him some respect as a person whose advice is valued. Likely, there is more to George Willard than portrayed in the story; however, he does seem fairly flat. The realization that Wing Biddlebaum has a problem with his hands is probably not considered a ?fundamental change,? so George would also be a static character. George is very curious about Wing?s hands? ?strange activity and their inclination.? The only thing that keeps George from bringing up the subject is his growing respect for Wing. By the end of the story, George realizes that somehow Wing?s hands are the reason for his fear of himself and others. From this the reader could gather that George is intuitive. He does not want to know the truth about Wing?s

hands. Perhaps his intuitiveness allowed him to sense that the story of Wing?s hands was tragic. It seems that George is also concerned with being like the other townspeople. At least the protagonist believed that George was destroying himself by trying to imitate the townspeople. It is also revealed that George has the ability to dream, but was afraid to do so. The price of these dreams would appear to be non-conformity: something that the reader has already seen punished in Wing. It has already been established that Wing Biddlebaum feared society in general. Therefore, it is difficult to explain why Wing would speak to someone who belonged to the world that had hurt him, the world that he was not a member of. The only conclusion, which might be gathered, is that Wing?s love for

teaching was so great that he could not restrain himself from teaching a person who was willing to listen. This might suggest that Wing did not become completely cynical and untrusting after his experience. Furthermore, this would suggest that he had a large capacity to forgive. The reader is not informed about how the two characters met. If Wing had initiated the relationship, then this would have shown a great deal of recovery. However, the last scene of the story, in which only darkness allowed his hands to become calm, clearly signifies that he has not overcome his fear. In any case, the origin of their relationship caused a great deal of wonder. Wing Biddlebaum in some respects takes the role of a martyr. Never is there an indication in the short story ?Hands? of hatred or

bitterness coming from Wing. It is probably safe to say that Wing?s lack of bitterness is at least rare, if not unheard of. He shows only sadness and fear. He shows no anger towards others. Although he fears people, he does not display hostility towards them. He does not fight back. He simply accepts his fate. Wing Biddlebaum faces many hardships in ?Hands.? Not only does he fight against his own fears, but also he fights against society. Unfortunately, there is no resolution of these conflicts. The only assurance seems to be that the struggles will remain. Bibliography Anderson, Sherwood. “Hands.” 1919.