Robert Louis Stevenson from Scotland was a literary celebrity in his own time. He’s famous for his work on Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He has written many short stories, essays, and poems. He lived from 1850 to 1894 and is still remembered for his great work. His story The Yellow Paint is also known for its creativity and realism. Here, Robert tells yet another story of fraud and how a young boy easily gets fooled by a fake doctor. The plot has been set in a small city where many superstitions are mainly the beliefs of people. The tone of the writer is very diplomatic.
The story is about a young boy who fears death after witnessing his friends death. There was a physician in the town who confidently declares some yellow paint to keep people from committing sins, fearing death and the most ran-away-from dangers and hardships of life. Maybe this paint has been used as a metaphor for faith from Roberts point of view. The antagonists will declare this story incomplete and ridiculous while the literal mind will find it relevant.
The writer, Robert portrays the main characters in this story as the fraud doctor and the young boy. We have learned that the boy has not been appreciated for his painting but due to the fear of death like his passed friend, the boy has found nothing better than being painted. So, the boy was thoroughly painted like nobody else before and soon the consequences start becoming known.
The first incident has mentioned here, when the boy gets his leg broken, unfortunately. He has visited the physician complaining about his fate. He said that he was never to be bothered by the dangers of life due to the application of the magical paint. The physician immediately denied any such idea and said that the paint has not actually kept you away from the dangers of life for a broken bone are a very silly thing to be upset upon. IThe boy has disappointed for a while but being optimistic, he has dwelled on the fact that everything happens for a reason and yet has not heeded this incident much.
Then three years later, Robert mentions one more tragedy. The boy is now an official criminal as he has purposefully set fire to a property, disrupted legal documents and killed an innocent. He seeks the physicians once again and demands an explanation of why didn’t the paint held him back from engaging in such sinful activities. The physician fools him once again replying that the paint doesn’t make you stay away from sins but makes the consequences easier and lesser. Once again, the boy doesn’t react and accepts that everything happens for a reason.
The third incident is when the boy was so scared that he has been left speechless because he was about to be hung the next day. He was almost on his death bed and complained to the physician once again that his paint was of no use as it never affected him into staying away from all these things. Sensing his misery and fear, the physician tells him, “This is really amazing. Perhaps, if you had not been painted, you would have been more frightened still, which ends the story, opening the eyes of people and giving a reason to the readers to remain cautious when trusting others (Stevenson, 2006).
In the end, this story is a real revelation and quite inspirational.
Stevenson, R. L. (2006). Fables: Easyread Edition. ReadHowYouWant. com.