Amy Hempel’s Compilation Of Allegories And The Resemblance To Scorpions

1410 words - 6 pages

Many people assume that science is persistently correct in numerous ways because of its research and innovation provided in today’s society. However, in the stories The Harvest and Going written by Amy Hempel, the author compares the distraught characters to scorpion like tendencies to attest that humans resemble animals, unreasonably more than science text books have lead us to believe. Conversely, it has become common today to dismiss this argument due to Hempel’s intricate writing style.
It is often said that scorpions have nothing in common with humans. However, Amy Hempel proves that just like a scorpion’s sting is poisonous to its predators; a scorpion will only attack as a self defense mechanism or if provoked. Similar to human tendencies in our society, when we become offended or attacked by someone’s actions or words. In the story The Harvest, the author views the lawyer as a scorpion and the main character as the predator because the lawyer merely takes the case with doubts of succeeding in court, but he shows no care because he still gets paid at the end of the day. Hempel states, “I could tell that the lawyer liked to say court of law. He told me he had taken the bar three times before he had passed” (104). This leaves the main character suffering from the lawyer’s poisonous sting because the main character cannot defend himself in court, nor does he have any idea of the lawyer’s devious ways, such as humans feel when attacked by a scorpion.
Amy Hempel also argues that in her story Going, the main character, such as the one in the Harvest, experiences a poisonous attack when watching the scorpion sting itself to death when in contact with a drop of tequila. Hempel declares, “Then he brought out a jar with a scorpion in it. He showed me how a drop of tequila on its tail makes a scorpion sting itself to death” (55). The main character witnesses firsthand the excruciating pain the scorpion is going through leading him to reflect on his own life. He thinks of the scorpion’s stinger as a representation of the poison in his life, more profoundly, his dependency on alcohol. Hempel adds,“The bartender served me tequila and left the bottle out. He asked me where I was going, and I said I was just going” (54-55). It is believed that such as the scorpion has done; the only way to get rid of the poison and make the suffering stop is the kill the main source of toxin, which in this story is viewed as the main character’s distraught past with his mother. Consequently, Hempel states, “It’s not the same ---- but it makes me think of the night my mother died. Three states away, the smell in my room was the smell of the powder on her face when she kissed me goodnight--- the night she wasn’t there” (55). Some argue the mother is dead and there is nothing the main character can do now. However, similar to a scorpion’s sting, the poison can lead to death in several circumstances if not properly treated. By treating the poisonous sting in this...

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