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One’s A Heifer Essay, Research Paper

“One’s a Heifer”

There are many instances of irony in the short story “One’s a Heifer” by Sinclair

Ross. The author leads the traditional reader to believe that Vickers has committed a murder. However, the popular belief based on the instances of irony that Vickers has committed a murder is not necessarily fair grounds for condemning the man.

One ironic part of the story is Vickers hostile behavior at the beginning of the story. Vickers is hostile towards the boy when he trespasses on his property. “He seized Tim’s bridle when he reached us, and glared for a minute as if he were going to pull me out of the saddle. “I told you to stay out,” he said in a harsh, excited voice” (193). The boy believes that Vickers stole the boy’s two calves and has just hidden the calves in the stable. But, because of Vickers hostile excitement at the beginning of the story, the traditional reader believes that Vickers has just committed a murder and was trying to hide the body when the boy showed up. However, Vickers cannot be accused of being a thief or a murderer just because he acts hostile at the beginning of the story. The boy has trespassed on Vickers’ property. Vickers has a right to be upset and hostile with the boy. Besides, he has cabin fever. Vickers has been living alone for a while and does not remember how to interact with other people. Therefore, there is not enough evidence to prove that Vickers is a murderer based on his behavior at the beginning of the story.

A second ironic part of the story occurs at the beginning when Vickers is determined to not let the boy into the box-stall for the first time. “He stood in front of the door, crouched down a little, the lantern in front of him like a shield” (194). The boy’s point of view of Vickers is that he is hiding the calves in the box-stall. But, the traditional reader believes that Vickers has murdered a girl and has hidden the body in the box-stall. However, Vickers cannot be condemned of murder just because he will not let the boy into the box-stall. Vickers could be overprotective of his property. Vickers has a right to stop the boy from checking the box-stall. Vickers also might not want the boy going into the box-stall because of safety reasons. Vickers mentions a hole in the ground, which had hurt one of his horses a while ago, and does not want the same thing to happen to the boy. Therefore, there is not enough evidence to prove that Vickers has committed a terrible crime just because he does not let the boy see what is in the box-stall.

Bibliography

Ross, Sinclair. “One’s a Heifer.” A 20th Century Anthology: Essays, Stories, and Poems. Ed. W. E. Messenger and W. H. New. Scarborough: Prentice-Hall, 1984. 191-201.

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