Kipling's Sleeping Devices

1756 Words 8 Pages
“The Morse instrument was ticking furiously. Mr. Cashell interpreted: […] ‘Can make nothing of your signals.’ A pause. […] ‘Signals unintelligible. […] Examine instruments to-morrow.’” As two soldiers try and fail to communicate through a wireless telegraph due to mechanical failures, an eavesdropper unknowingly sits at the center of a manmade storm of misinterpretations in Rudyard Kipling’s Wireless. In the story, we follow an as he arrives at an apothecary to witness Mr. Cashell, the nephew of the shop’s owner, operate his wireless telegraph. Along the way, he facilitates the romantic adventures between one of the shop’s workers, Mr. Shaynor, and the sensual Fanny Brand. Afterwards, our narrator experiences what seems like a paranormal …show more content…
Though it is true, as Fielding states, that the narrator is “feeling a bit tired” at the end of the night and story, he shows few other concrete symptoms of sensory overload. The narrator talks to the other characters without much issue, recalls facts about prior events accurately, and functions in every other way as if he wasn’t suffering from excessive sensory overload. And besides, a person becoming tired at night and wanting to go to bed is not too uncommon an occurence. Despite Fielding’s theory of an overwhelmed narrator, there’s just not a lot of evidence to substantiate it, and other than his misinterpretations, the narrator is able in most every other …show more content…
After Fanny Brand and after the not-so-intoxicating drink, Mr. Shaynor seems to rewrite Keats’s poem as Keats himself, the narrator questions the man, and a few subtle but important clues can be gleaned. When asked “if [he has] ever read anything written by a man called Keats,” Mr. Shaynor says that he “[hasn’t] much time to read poetry.” However, as other commentators have pointed out, Mr. Shaynor is a liar. William Dillingham makes an astute observation in that while Mr. Shaynor claims that he “has no knowledge at all of who Keats may be” and “does not remember ever hearing his name,” he somehow “knows [that Keats] was a poet” despite the narrator not supplying that piece of information. Additionally, Mr. Shaynor doesn’t wear his poker face as perfectly as he may have intended when he “flushed consciously” as he was being questioned about his knowledge of poetry. Clearly, Mr. Shaynor knows more than he lets on. However, despite being given all the necessary information, the narrator fails to realize the truth and remains loyal to Mr. Shaynor’s lie and the much more supernatural and much less likely explanation. This can be explained by understanding that the narrator is sees Mr. Shaynor as a sort of human telegraph that couldn’t possibly

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