“The Fever” tells a poignant and tumultuous tale of survival, hardship, and transformation. The narrative begins in 1854, with the protagonist falling ill with a high fever that hangs like a black cloud over their bed. The mention of a wet cloth on the head and the concern of the narrator’s mother reflect the desperate attempts to combat the illness at a time when medical care was limited.
Born into slavery, the protagonist grows into a hungry individual fighting broken dreams. The reference to the big boss man’s evil plan suggests a life of oppression and servitude. The vivid imagery of the big boss wielding a steel gun and enforcing strict rules further emphasizes the harsh conditions faced by the narrator.
The narrative takes a tragic turn with the death of the narrator’s mother after catching the fever from them. The emotional toll is palpable, especially with the revelation that the big boss man, who claimed to be the narrator’s father, was deceitful. The transition to the protagonist’s life as a fighter in the ring introduces a new phase, where raw knuckles and big fists become instruments of survival.
The final lines hint at a turn of fortune, with the protagonist living in the big house with the boss man. This twist in the narrative raises questions about the complexities of power dynamics and the narrator’s journey from vulnerability to a potentially advantageous situation.
“The Fever” is a gripping story that explores themes of illness, loss, survival, and the often harsh realities of life, set against the backdrop of historical challenges such as slavery and exploitation.