I have used “The Answer is No” and “One of These Days” in this paper to develop the thesis that Good ethical people of the society refrain from being associated with bad and unethical people and they are not scared of worst outcomes of such decisions”.
The Answer is No - The girl who is main character of the story and the protagonist, has been ruined by his teacher, the antagonist in the story. The central plot of the story is that the girl in young age was tutored by a man equal to her father’s age, almost 25 years older than her. She considers him a fatherly figure and has immense respect for him. One day, when girl is left alone with him, the teacher takes advantage of her, and she being so young doesn’t even realize the damage done to her. The man promises to marry her when she comes to age. She, after gaining maturity realizes the severity of the damage done to her. As per promise, he returns to seek her hand.
The girl has grown with hatred for him and denies his proposal which follows with him threatening her of worst outcomes. She however remains calm and unchanged. The girl, now working at the school as teacher meets him again when he joins as headmaster of school. The story reaches climax with the man joining as headmaster, bringing back the memories of pain and suffering and disturbing the equilibrium and tranquility which the girl has achieved. He, finding her alone again expresses his interest by asking her that is she married to which she replies in a distant and cold manner.
One of These Days – The story depicts a dentist, Aurelio who has no degree. The story starts with the day of Aurelio who opens his office at six and start cleaning his equipment. He is visited at his clinic by a person he dislikes the most, the Mayor of the town. The mayor requests him to pull out his infected tooth which he denies doing, only to receive the threat for his life. Aurelio, unaffected by this threat still does not make any reply to mayor’s entreating. The mayor, in severe pain pushes himself in Aurelio’s office who then agrees to treat him. Aurelio, seeing the condition of mayor’s tooth informs mayor that his tooth has to be extracted without anesthesia as he has an abscess. The mayor agrees and Aurelio remarks to Mayor that he will now pay for the death of their twenty man and pulls out his teeth. After this, Mayor walks over and Aurelio asks for his bill and enquired is it to be sent to Mayor or town to which mayor shouting replies, that they are both the same thing. In this story, Aurelio is the protagonist and mayor is the antagonist.
Both the readings suggest that good and ethical suffer due to bad ones.
This is demonstrated in both the readings that good and ethical people are doomed due to the bad ones. In the story “The Answer is No”, the girl is doomed for life because of the teacher who betrayed the trust girl’s family placed in him and took away her innocence as such tender age that she couldn’t realize the damage done to her. She, upon attaining maturity, became well-aware of the lonely life she would have to endure because of the teacher. The other reading also demonstrates the same point when Aurelio mentions that now you will pay for the death of our twenty men, which shows that Mayor has caused harm to the town and have changed the life of the townspeople for worse. The self-composed Aurelio, though at initial reading appears as a tranquil man, the impression about him altering as the reader progresses in the story. He appears to be a man with a storm hidden in his earth and his self-composed and tranquil appearance is only outward.
In each story, the antagonist stalks the protagonist and the protagonist tries to avoid the antagonist.
The two readings demonstrates this statement vividly as in the first reading, The Answer is No, the girl tries to forget her fate and continues her life in peaceful manner whereas the man twice makes his appearance after ruining her. First, when he comes to make her the proposal and second, when he joins as the headmaster. The girl retains her self-composure in both the circumstances, however the fact remains that whenever she tries to forget the ugly circumstances and become peaceful, the man comes and disturbs her peace. The second reading Out of These Days also conveys this point strongly when Mayor forces Aurelio to treat his infected tooth. Moreover, both the girl and Aurelio were warned of the worst outcomes by the antagonists, still they pays no heed to their warnings.
The good people of the society are not inclined towards seeking revenge and maintain their professionalism when faced with bad people.
The two readings demonstrate a very striking and perhaps the most significant feature of both the protagonists of the readings. In spite of despising and hating the antagonists from the core of their hearts, both the girl and Aurelio are not inclined towards taking revenge from their tormentors, rather that wish to spend their life peacefully, avoiding the antagonists of the stories at every cost. When compelled by the circumstances to be in the company of the teacher and mayor, both the girl and Aurelio maintain cold and distant behavior. The statement of Aurelio that “Now you’ll pay for our twenty dead men” is not followed by Aurelio hurting mayor or causing any damage, instead the statement is expressed in a self-satisfactory way upon realizing that mayor would have to endure that pain. This statement somewhere expresses the hidden wish of Aurelio and indicates that he believes in justice through nature. We can state this Aurelio actually believed in justice through nature and was waiting for the mayor to reach his dead and pay for his ill doings to others. The character of girl, though not demonstrated in the story can also be thought to possess this characteristic and she might also be wishing for the teacher to be punished for his acts by nature.
The choice of the good people is well-reflected in the above discussion which leads to their refraining from the antagonists and not being worried about the negative outcomes it may bring to them.