Incarnations Of Burned Children

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In the story "Incarnations of Burned Children" David Foster Wallace writes about a Mother, Father and Son and is told from the father's perspective. The story os ;adem wotj [aremta; guilt and excruciating pain--physical for the child, emotional for the Father and Mother. The story easily lends itself to discussions about negligence, blame and remorse. A pot of boiling water falls off the sotve. A diaper-clad toddler screams. His Mother cries hysterically. The little boy is standing barefoot in a puddle of steaming water on the kitchen floor. The Father who was busy hanging a door rushes into the room and quickly assesses the situation. He places the child in the kitchen sink and runs cold water over the boy. The child's skin is scalded. The father swaddles him in a wet towel but the toddler shreiks as if he is still being burned. Suddenly both parents realize they haven't checked the diaper. It burns their hands when they take it off. The diaper is filled with hot water that has collected inside it. The parents wrap their son in gauze and hand towels. They take him to the Emergency Room where "the child learned to leave himself and watch the whole rest unfold from a point overhead." (p.484)The author is trying to let the reader know what can happen in an instant, Household mistakes do happen. It is hard to be a parent just like the narrator says, "If you've never wept and want to, have a child." (p 484) The father in this story blames the mother for what happened. He doesn't say it but he thinks it, when the narrator says, "Adrenaline ebbing and an anger at the mommy for allowing this thing to happen." (p 484) But also the father feels guilty when he wants to have a cigarette. The mother of course is hysterical and invoking god she blames herself. The author does not tell you what the mother was doing when this accident happened. Perhaps this doesn't matter, and he

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