Analysis of ‘One Of These Days’ by Garica Marquez
Garica Marquez in “One of These Days” wrote about the conflicts between the middle class and the politicians. Marquez mainly focuses on the reality of power and revenge. The story relates to advantages and disadvantages between middle class and politicians in sense of their power. The story inspires for all who think they have power and try to take advantage of it, whether in a good manner or a bad manner.
Marquez in “one of these days” begins with a poor town dentist, Aurelio Escovar who is polishing false teeth in early morning. He continues working until his son interrupts him and asks if he will pull out the Mayor’s tooth. At first he refuses. Then his son says that the Mayor will shoot him, if he does not fix the Mayor’s sore tooth. He agrees to pull out the tooth after he sees that the Mayor was suffering from last five days. The dentist examines the Mayor’s tooth and agrees to pull out without using anesthesia and makes the Mayor suffer from pain. He gives the reason as he pulls out the tooth saying, “now you will pay for our twenty dead men.” After the mayor has recovered, he leaves, telling the dentist to send the bill. When the dentist asks where he should send the bill to the mayor personally or to the town. The mayor replies, “It’s the same damn thing.”
In “one of these days”, Marquez describes plot in a chronological arrangement. He begins with activity of the dentist in the early morning, follows to how the dentist pulls the mayor’s tooth out, and ends with the mayor’s recovery and showing his power to the poor dentist. In the plot of the story, Marquez does not say about conflicts between middle class and politicians rather he leaves that on readers to imagine while reading some particular sentences in the story. For example, the statement of dentist after pulling the mayor’s tooth out seems revenge of an excessive abuse of political and military power. It shows that there might some political and social issues going on in the town.
According to me, in “one of these days”, Escovar, a dentist is a dynamic and a round character. In the plot of the story, when he sees the mayor with his left cheek clean-shaved and a-five-day old beard on the other cheek with swollen tooth, he agrees to fix the Mayor’s tooth. I feel when he saw the mayor’s pain; he changes his opinion of not helping the mayor and gets ready to pull out the infected tooth. He tries to be kind by helping the mayor but he still continues to take his revenge by making the mayor suffer from more pain. He uses his profession to fulfill the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prove himself by giving the mayor what he really deserves without making himself in trouble. In the story, the mayor seems a static and flat character. Even though the mayor was suffering from the pain since last five days and he really needs cure from the dentist, he uses his power to make dentist to help him. After he recovered in the end, besides thanking the dentist, he shows his power by referring him and the town as the “same thing.” His character represents of all people whose thoughts have been surrounded by the power that they have, and they make unnecessary use of it. He does not even understand what the dentist has done to him, and what the dentist is trying to tell him.
Setting of “one of these days” seems in some place in Colombia. The story begins on the Monday morning and it might ends around the later afternoon time. Author does not say particular about settings in the story.
Marquez uses the description of the place and all the items stored there to symbolize the middle class. He mentions an old wooden chair, the pedal drill, a glass case with ceramic bottles, and a window with a shoulder-high cloth curtain to show a poor office of a middle class dentist. He also mentioned about the crumbling ceiling and a dusty spider web with spider’s eggs and dead insects. The author does not say enough, besides the political power, to symbolize the mayor.
The theme of the story is mainly about political power and corruption. Another theme is revenge. The mayor, who is trying to show his power from the beginning, has nothing to say when the dentist, who is from a middle class and has no power, makes him suffer from pain to take revenge of corruption in the town. Marquez’s tone in the story is unbiased to both characters. He doesn’t show his more impact on either of one character. He tries to present the reality using both characters in this story. Both characters follow the situation and the plot. In the plot of the story, irony occurs when the dentist gives the reason of abscessed tooth for not using anesthesia. In reality, he is punishing the mayor for allowing twenty men to be killed.
So according to the story, the dentist’s actions are of such little importance that no social changes will take place. He feels little happy from inside when he uses his profession to make the mayor suffer from pain. But later he realizes that he has become more like the mayor by taking advantage of his power, even if it’s temporary, to inflict pain on others. The dentist realizes that only he cannot change anything in the mayor, and by giving pain to the mayor he is being a worse person. In other hand, the mayor takes advantage of his power through the story. He does not realize from his pain that he is wrong and he is getting what he really deserves. So, according to me, both characters use their power but the mayor remains getting the result that he expected and the dentist gets the victory for a while.