This short story, “The Doll” is about poor out of work okies back inthe early 1930’s looking for any type of job they can find, so they can get paidor something to eat. Mrs. Hollis and the two okies are the main characters inthe story. The story tells about these okies asking for work from a well offwoman, Mrs. Hollis, and how she treats them.
In spite of her will to help them,she eventually sends them away after meager payment and food. The story startsoff as two ragged boys walk up Mrs. Hollis’ lawn coming from the camp, wherepoor out of work families live. They were two “okies” looking for ajob to get some food. Mrs. Hollis is disgusted at all of the dirt and raggedclothes they’re wearing.
Mrs. Hollis gives the okies some work to do in exchangefor some food. One of the boys points to the other and tells Mrs. Hollis that heis his uncle. He was a short man in his 40’s.
His hands reminded Mrs. Hollis ofan old wedding doll she used to have years ago. She was still disgusted at hisragged image. As she fixed some sandwiches and coffee for them, she gave themone of her chocolate cherries in a red shiny wrapper. They have only had one ofthose once in their whole lifetime and were very excited. While Mrs.
Hollis wastaking her afternoon nap, she was awoken by a knock on the door. She went andlooked, and sure enough it was the two “okies” again asking if theycould go piss in her bathroom. She got mad and told them to finish their workand leave, then slammed the door. She came out later to tell them that’s enoughfor the day because it’s getting hotter. They didn’t get their work done, butshe still gave them a dollar.
One of them grinned while snatching the dollarfrom her hand. She asked why he was grinning like that. He pointed to his uncleand he was “pissing in his pants. ” Mrs Hollis saw a puddle forming onher patio and in disgust she ran to her bathroom and threw up everywhere. Myimpression of this story is it is referring to right after the Great Depression. I can picture back around 1930 these two okies walking up to her door and askingher for a job.
I would be a little disgusted from all the dirt and the raggedsmelly clothes on them, but I would mainly feel sorry for the two. I would paythem to do some chores for me. I would supply them with food while they werethere, and pay them when they were done. I wouldn’t let them use my bathroomthough. I wouldn’t want them to enter my house at all, because they are completestrangers.
I would just simply point to a tree away from the house. When Mrs. Hollis gave them the chocolate cherry in a red wrapper, I think it resembles allof the things poor people couldn’t get. I think Mrs.
Hollis gave them a dollarbecause she felt sorry for them. She sent them home without finishing the jobbecause she wanted them to leave before her Bridge Club came over so shewouldn’t be embarrassed by their presence.