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amerlitinformal3 - The doctor’s hands are described as...

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15 April 2008 Professor Green ENGL 3665 Informal Response 3 Sherwood Anderson’s “Paper Pills” is a story depicting the concept of the grotesque through the manifestation of Doctor Reefy’s thoughts into the form of “round hard balls” (38). The balls are likened to the doctor’s hands as well. Both are described with emphasis on their qualities as “wooden-like” and somewhat unwanted like the rejected apples remaining on the tree where the Doctor would pick. The grotesque is a fantastic type of categorization that challenges conventional categories and assumptions and leaves a funny and horrifying effect, ultimately confusing the categories. The subversive nature of the grotesque fits nicely with the doctor’s thoughts as he keeps them to himself, and crumples them up into little balls in his pocket to be discarded eventually. As the doctor picked apples, his mind would conjure up “little truths” that would eventually become a greater truth and then fade away and form smaller thoughts.
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Unformatted text preview: The doctor’s hands are described as being “…extraordinarily large. When the hands were closed they looked like clusters of unpainted wooden balls as large as walnuts fastened together by steel rods” (35). The hands are also associated with the “few gnarled apples” (36) the pickers rejected. In this way, the doctor’s hands and his thoughts are out of the ordinary, deviating from normal constructs. Regardless of the doctor’s hands he fascinates “the tall dark girl” and she marries him. “After the tall dark girl came to know Doctor Reefy it seemed to her that she never wanted to leave him again” (38). They spend the winter together where the doctor tells the girl all of the thoughts he wrote down 1 on the little bits of paper. She dies in the spring after hearing the doctor’s thoughts. When he is done retelling them, “…he laughed and stuffed them (the papers) away in his pockets to become round hard balls” (38). 2...
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