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Man In The Well Essay

1084 words - 5 pages

“The Man in the Well”, written by Ira Sher, is a short story about a group of children that while playing find a man stuck in a well. The children collectively decided to not help the man out of the well. They instead decided to talk to the man and ask him questions. There were a lot of games in the story, the children started out in the beginning of the story playing a game. It felt as if the children thought of the man as a pet or a game for them to play. The children got to hot while sitting outside the well, so they left the man in the well while they went and cooled off at the movie theater; never once having the idea to get the man any help. Could the children be so callous as to leave the man and go watch a movie? By these children’s actions they failed understand that the adult was in danger.
At the time, the children did not really feel like they were doing anything wrong, but they did know enough to bring the man food and water. Even though they were not going to help him get out of the well, they still wanted to help him in some way. Whenever the man would ask if help was on its way, the children would always lie and tell him help would be there soon. I don’t understand the need these children felt to keep lying to the man. They kept giving him a false sense of hope. The children turned their visits into a game asking the man questions, with the man also asking the children questions. Most of the questions the man asked the children would answer, but the man never answered a question that the children asked him. ‘What’s your name?’ Was the first question that was asked by the children. This question was reoccurring by both the man and the children. People are born into this world nameless and they are strangers. When one first meets another person the first thing they do is introduce themselves by telling each other their names. By knowing someone’s name one is able to identify them from other people and it makes them more personable. However, in the case with the man in the well it was very important to both the man and the children that they remain anonymous.
For most of the story, the children seem to be in control of everything whether the man eats or drinks and whether he lives or dies. However, once the man finds out the first name, Aaron, he uses it to turn the children against each other. The narrator even talks about the man when he learns the first name saying that he ‘had imagined him practicing that voice all night long, and holding it in his mouth so that he wouldn’t let it slip away in his sleep.’ (119) After Aaron hears the man say his name he realizes that the game is over. This is the turning point in the story. At this point the man has come to realize his fate; he...

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