In history there are many tragedies that lie with the bodies of little children. Some are physical diseases and early death incidents. Most adults deny the accusations of these pains that are taking place. Like in the story “Stolen Day” we see a boy who not only has pain within his body but also within his heart.
“Stolen Day” by Sherwood Anderson follows the view of an average teenage boy. There is a worry among the people who live in his small town of a bodily disease that they call inflammatory rheumatism. During school the boy starts experiencing signs of the disease that has also possessed a boy named Walter. He starts thinking to himself that this disease is indeed going to take his life. That the pain within his bones will be too much to handle. Not every physical disease kills but it can hurt gravely. He also starts to think that no one will even care if he is dead somewhere. That he will not be missed by anyone. Most kids in that time period, even now do think that they are not good enough for their families and that they will not be missed. He is afraid that people will not believe him if he tells them about his new discovery. This boy that we are following within the story is in a state that no kid should be in Denial.
Within the state of writing there are four modes to choose from. This story is an example of man versus society. The boy is afraid of what people will think of him if he does broadcast his theory of the illness. Because his family ignores him most of the time he doesn’t tell them. Instead he goes to a place where someone in his state always is. The creek. Down there he does accomplish something but once he goes back to his family he is afraid of being judged. A lot of people are afraid of being judged by others. He is scared so he just blurts out his theory of the illness and runs away to his room. Society is defiantly not on his side today. It will never be either.
Throughout our lives, even as adults there are lessons that we learn. Some of those lessons come from stories. The hidden lesson within “Stolen Day” is not to be afraid. You shouldn’t be afraid of telling people if you think that there is something wrong. You should tell people what’s on your mind and what you theories are before it gets too bad. That there is nothing that anyone can do about it. Don’t be afraid to start admitting to others and yourself that something defiantly is wrong with you either mentally or physically. There is nothing to be ashamed of if there is something wrong with you. You’ll get through it. Everyone has their own inner strength and during situations like these it always starts to creep out of the cracks.
The author of stories has two key components to their writing. One of them is their style. Sherwood Anderson uses an illness within a boy to describe the past and the present. The past for many unexplained illnesses and the present for the neglect of children. The unexplained illness for this story is the inflammatory rheumatism that occurs within the bones and joints. Neglect in children is for the boys thoughts. He thinks that he is going to die and that people will not even care is he is dead. That they won’t waste the time to go and look for him if he doesn’t return home. The components that Anderson uses makes the story more real and even sadder than it normally would be.
The way a story gets its pizzazz as some people say is the author Sherwood Anderson was born in 1876. Because he had to work part time he did not have the time for school, like the character Walter in his story didn’t have the time for school because of his illness. He became a successful business man by being the manager of a paint factory, while in his spare time wrote fiction. Surprising everyone in 1912 he left his hometown of Elyria, Ohio to Chicago to pursue his writing. In 1919 his book Winesburg Ohio was published. He also had a great influence on writers such as Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner. Anderson was and still is an inspiration to all and it’s revealed within his writing.
Many authors follow either the same mod line or use the same type of mode. “Stolen Day” has a similarity between the story, “The Necklace.” The main character is at the peak of her life. She has a glorious husband, a good social status but she still wants more. Something bad happens to her by losing her best friends necklace and her whole world turns upside down. She ends up poor and with a very bad social status. The woman and the boy from both stories have society fighting against them. They cannot win against their own society. Society is against them for the rest of their lives. Just like all of us.
Writers tend to mostly follow one way of writing. But Sherwood Anderson chooses to mix it up a little. His story, “Stolen Day”, is a comedy based mode line but with tragic events in it. One tragic event is the boy thinking that he has inflammatory rheumatism. The day is still normal with a few conflicts here and there. The boy is aching but once he surprises his family by bringing home a carp for dinner it’s starting to slow down a bit. Sometimes in writing you don’t’ have to be the same. You can stand out too.
Within a purpose of a story is either a literary significance or a historical significance. “Stolen Day” is based off of history. Back near around the 1800’s where this story takes place there were a lot of unexplained illnesses often only happening to children. Most of them were illnesses that dealt with the bones and joints of the body. Others were sudden deaths of children not only by illnesses. But by drowning or sudden accidents that could not be prevented. History within our writing helps us learn from our past at a different perspective. Within the eyes of another.
We can learn a lot about us by reading and learning about the past from books such as “Stolen Day.” The stories that we read can help us overcome even the toughest obstacles in life because of a character in a book can do it, so can you