Sara Nichole Walton
Guilt of a Burned Child
Accidents happen! If the unthinkable happened and your child was the victim of a trauma who would you blame? In” Incarnations of a Burned Children” By David Foster Wallace this question is pushed in your face. The story is told from the daddy’s point of view until the very end when you get a since of what the little boy feels. It is never clearly known if the child dies in the story. It’s just left up to your interpretation. The author leaves it up to the reader by saying "the child learned to leave himself and watch the whole rest unfold from a point overhead." (Wallace) Either way the child is badly injured and the outcome is not good. Who is to blame for an accident?
The Mommy of the story discovers that the child dumped boiling-scoulding liquid all over his little body. She does nothing more than dap the child with a rag and let out loud screams. She didn’t really put herself to use but what would one do. With these descriptions you can assume the Mommy went into shock. Household mistakes can happen but was there more that she could have done. She could have placed the pot on the back burner, or made the child stay in the other room. These are reasons that she would probably felt guilty or guilt may have been placed on her.
We know the father becomes angered, almost blaming the mother when the narrator says: “adrenaline ebbing and an anger at the Mommy for allowing this thing to happen…” (Wallace) On the other hand the father feels guilty when he wants to have a cigarette. The mother is portrayed as hysterical and invoking god she blames herself. The author does not tell you what the mother was doing when this accident happened. This may not matter but sometimes the unknown leaves questions of doubt.
“The Daddy was around the side of the house hanging a door for the tenant when he heard the child's screams” The talks about the Daddy running to the child and the mother standing...