Part AThe text The Hurt Man by Wendell Berry is dealing with the theme of how protective mothers can be to their children until someday when they are big enough to be alone and not being in sight all the time, in the text we hear about Mat Feltner, who is 5 years old and lives in Port William.Port William where Mat lives was a small town, with only one road going through and in rainy days it barely could be called a road. Port William was like a classic western town, with the school in one end, graveyard in the other. In the center of Port William there were several stores, two saloons, a church, a bank, a hotel and a blacksmith.
Port William was full of mortality and the graveyard was more populous than the town. There were always dangers in Port Williams, because of the road where there always were horses, droves of cattle or sheep or hogs or mules, so it was very easy for a child to get hurt or more.It is a third-person narrator, that doesn??™t interfere directly in the story; the narrator only gives us a panoramic description of the situations from Mat??™s mind and actions.
The text starts in medias res and not in a traditional opening with a description of the nature or something. The text is told in retrospect and chronologically. Mat had a brother and two sisters at the graveyard, so that??™s why Mat is getting protected so much by his mother. Mat was seen like a blessing in his parents eyes when he got into their lives. The first four years of Mats life he was watched careful by his parents, but now when he was five it was the housekeeper. Mat was curious like every other five years old boys ???He would stray off to where something was happening??? (l. 32). Mat??™s mother, Nancy Beechum Feltner, weren??™t afraid of letting her son go around now when he had turned the age of five ???Nancy Beechum Feltner was not a frightened woman, as her son would learn??? (l.
38). It was only on Saturdays she drew a line between him and the crowd that filled the town and drank a lot, with consequences that were not probable. This was the only day of the week where she kept him in sight and not letting him go anywhere. And such a big crowd in a small place could easily develop to a dangerous situation.Every Saturday afternoon they sat on the porch, there they could see anything that was going on in the town. One Saturday afternoon, a part of the crowd was intensified and voices were raised. Mat and his mother weren??™t surprised.
A bloody man came running towards them followed by other men. Even tough the man was full of blood Mat weren??™t intimidated of threat or scared. It was first when his mother grabbed him and told him to get inside that he got surprised but not afraid, because that she had never done before.After this episode Mat starts thinking about the death that all human being are going to get. Because his mother kept saying to the hurt man ???you??™re going to be alright???.
This text can be put into perspective to the text Farm Wife written by R. S. Thomas. As the title says it??™s about a farm wife, and when you hear the word wife, you start thinking about a caring and protective woman, just like Mats mother, Nancy. Also in the last three lines ???This strong body, the safe island where men may come, sons and lovers, daring the cold seas of her eyes??? (ll. 12-14). Can be compared to the situation where the hurt man came running toward Mat and his mother. Where Nancy let the hurt man in to protect him from the men that is following him.
The text can also be put into perspective to the picture Cowboys drinking at a bar, where we see some cowboys standing in a bar or saloon and having something to drink, this can be compared to the Saturday afternoon where a big crowd is gathered in a small place, where a small disagreement can develop to a huge fight. Just like it did the Saturday afternoon where the hurt man came running to Mat and his mother. Part BIn the text The Hurt Man, Mat is going through an epiphany, where his view of life changes, it is first at the end where his view changes, because in the beginning of the story he is like every other child curious and not intimated of threat or scared by anything. But after the situation with the hurt man, he starts thinking about the life and how we all are going to die someday and end up at the graveyard, just like his brother and sisters.His curiosity is shown at the situation with the hurt man where it says in the text ???At first he stayed back, for he did not want to be told to get out of the way. But as his mother made order, he grew bolder and drew gradually closer until he was almost at her side.??? (ll. 115-117).
The last two lines of the text ???But from that day, whatever happened, there was a knowledge in Mat that was unsurprised and last comforted, until he was old, until he was gone.??? (ll. 144-145). This shows us that he will not get surprised if a hurt man dies, because we are all going to someday.