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One of these Days


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Introduction to the story

  • Publication: The story ‘One of these Days’ was originally published in Spanish language in 1962 in the collection of short stories known as ‘No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories’. Later it was  published again in Marquez’s Collected Short Stories in 1984.

  • Form: It is a fictional short story.

  • Setting: Everything happens in the dental clinic where Aurelio Escovar, an uncertified dentist encounters the Mayor. The time chosen was Monday morning when Aurelio Escovar polished a set of false teeth.

  • Plot: The story begins with the vivid description of Aurelo Escovar who was an uncertified dentist. In the middle of the story he treats the Mayor by pulling his infected wisdom tooth ,and takes revenge on him for twenty dead men who had lost their lives because of the Mayor. The story ends with the disclosure about corruption of the Mayor when he declared that the bill for his treatment could be sent to him or the town .

  • Theme: The story ‘One of these Days’ depicts the theme of power, revenge, corruption and discrepancy. It also presents to us a conflict between the upper class of people and lower class of people through portraying two characters who have different social background.

  • Narrative Technique: In the story ‘One of these Days’ Gabriel Garcis Marquez used first person narrative technique.

  • Message of the story: This story reveals the true nature of power which is temporary as it does not remain in the same hand always. This story also proves that we are not powerful ourselves, but situation changes with the passage of time, and it makes us powerful or powerless.

  • Characters in details: There are three characters in the story-

(i)The dentistAurelio Escovar was an uncertified dentist who misused his power while the Mayor came to his clinic for treatment.

(ii)The dentist’s sonHe was eight years old boy who talked to the Mayor and informed his father what the Mayor said.

(iii)The MayorThe Mayor had suffered from toothache , and came to the dentist for his treatment. He was so corrupt that he did not find any difference between his money and money of the town which he ruled.



♦dawned-began, ♦fistful-handful, ♦stud-a large piece of metal, ♦erect-straight, ♦skinny-attractively thin, ♦steadily-in regular manner, ♦pensive-thoughtful, ♦shrill-loud high pitch, ♦bridge-partial denture anchored to adjacent teeth, ♦tranquil-calm, ♦desperation-feeling of sadness and loss, ♦leant-bent, ♦skull-bones of the head that surround the brain, ♦ceramic-art of making object by clay, ♦braced-to fasten tightly, ♦inspecting-examining completely, ♦cautious-careful, ♦abscess-painful swollen area, ♦forceps-tools for grasping ♦spittoon-container used for spit, ♦sterilized-make free from bacteria, ♦tweezer-tool for plucking, ♦tenderness-gentleness, ♦crunch-loud sound of squash, ♦rancour-angry feeling, ♦panting-taking quick deep breath, ♦tunic-a close fitting short coat, ♦crumbling-break into small pieces, ♦damn-cursed word which is used to express frustration and anger

Summary of the story

Once there was a corrupt Mayor in the town. He had been suffering from severe toothache for five days. So he came to the dentist for treatment. The dentist was Aurelio Escovar who was not certified with any degree. He had a son who was eight years old. His son talked to the Mayor and informed his father that the Mayor wanted to pull his tooth.

The dentist refused to treat the Mayor, and continued polishing a set of false teeth. Then his son told him about the warning that the Mayor would shoot him if he did not take his tooth out. The dentist had a revolver in the lower drawer of the table. He instructed his son to tell the Mayor to come and shoot him.

The Mayor entered the dentist’s clinic. He had not shaved the right side of his face ,which was swollen and in pain, and looked unwell with a five-day-old-beard. The dentist observed his dull eyes which were filled with desperation for many nights. He inspected the infected tooth of the Mayor, and decided to treat him without anesthesia , showing a reason that the Mayor had an abscess. While he pulling the Mayor’s tooth, he threatened him that he would pay for their twenty dead men.

The Mayor got rid off his infected tooth, and said goodbye to him. He ordered the dentist to send the bill for the treatment the dentist had given. Then the dentist wanted to know if  he would send the bill to the Mayor or  the town. The Mayor replied to him “It’s the same damn thing”.

Analysis of the story

One of these Days by Gabriel Garcis Marquez is a tale of manipulation, in which Aurelio Escovar is a protagonist who represents the middle class of people and the Mayor is an antagonist who represents the upper class of people .This story tells about an incident of a day when the Mayor and the dentist both misused their power and position.

When the Mayor came to the dentist’s clinic, the dentist misused his power and position by refusing to treat him, and later by treating his infected wisdom tooth without using anesthesia. It was the time when the dentist showed kindness and compassion by treating him .On the other hand, he took revenge on the Mayor by giving him so much pain. Again, the dentist threatened the Mayor that he would pay for twenty dead men. His thread hints that the Mayor was responsible for the death of twenty people. Hence, the town which the Mayor ruled was infected with corruption as the Mayor’s infected wisdom tooth. The Mayor did not thank the dentist after he had relief from pain, but he ordered to send the bill for his treatment. Then the dentist wanted to know if the bill was sent to town or the Mayor and

the dentist answered ‘It’s the same damn thing’ to the dentist’s question.

The last line discloses the reality of the Mayor when he considered the town’s money as his own money . Here it was clearly revealed that he would pay for his treatment from the people’s money regardless of whether the bill was sent to the town or the Mayor.

Short Answer Type Questions


1.Who was Aurelio Escovar?

Ans: Aurelio Escovar was a dentist ,who did not have a degree.

2.What did Aurelio see in the Mayor’s eyes?

Ans: Aurelio saw many nights of desperation in the Mayor’s eyes.

3.When did Aurelio Escovar open his office?

Ans: Aurelio Escovar opened his office at 6 o’clock in the morning.

4.What was Aurelio Escovar polishing?

Ans: Aurelio Escovar was polishing a gold tooth.

5.Whom did Aurelio Escovar see through the window? What were they doing?

Ans: Aurelio Escovar saw two pensive buzzards through the window.

They were drying themselves in the sun.

6.Who interrupted Aurelio Escovar while he concentrated on his work?

Ans: Aurelio Escovar had an eleven-year-old so whose shrill voice interrupted him while he concentrated on his work.

7.How old was Aurelio Escovar?

Ans: Aurelio Escovar was eleven years old.

8.What did Aurelio Escovar fail to understand while treating the Mayor?

Ans: While treating the Mayor Aurelio Escovar failed to understand his torture of the five previous nights when the Mayor had been suffering from toothache.

9.Where was a revolver in Aurelio Escovar’s office?

Ans: The revolver was in the lower drawer of the table in Aurelio Escovar’s office.

10.What warning did the Mayor give to the dentist?

Ans: The Mayor gave a warning that if the dentist did not take out his tooth, he would shoot him.

11.What is known as magic realism?

Ans: Magic realism is a technique of  writing  narrative fiction in which the reality of real world is depicted with the proper usage of magical elements in writing.In this technique realistic narrative is also combined with surreal elements of fantasy.


A. Descriptive or Analytical Questions:

1.How did the dentist extract the tooth of the Mayor?

2.Describe the character of the dentist.

3.Describe the character of the Mayor.

4.Justify the title ‘One of These Days’.

5.How does the writer present the reversal of the power hierarchy  in the story.

6.‘It’s the same damn thing’.-Who said to whom? What did the speaker mean to say through this statement?

7.How was the reaction of the Mayor as the dentist pulled out his tooth?

8.What does the Mayor of the town symbolize?

9.How was the appearance of the Mayor?

10.Discuss how does ‘One of These Days’ portray an interesting power dynamic between the two main characters.


Bring out the symbolism and trace the reversal of the hierarchy of power in ‘One of These Days’.

B. Do as directed:

1.The shrill voice of his eleven-year-old son interrupted his concentration.(Change the voice)

2.He still had not changed his expression. (Change into an Interrogative sentence)

3.The dentist moved only his wrist. (Change into a negative sentence)

4.It seemed so foreign to his pain that he failed to understand his torture of the five previous nights. (Change into a negative sentence)

5.He closed the drawer with his fingertips. (Replace the underlined word with a phrasal verb)

6.The dentist kept examining his tooth. (Change the voice)

7.“Dry your tears “, he said. (Change the narration)

8.The dentist gave him a clean cloth. (Change the voice)

9.He rolled the chair over opposite the door. He rested his hand on the edge of the drawer. (Change into a simple sentence)

10.The Mayor felt the crunch of bones. (Change the voice)

11.He was polishing a gold tooth. (Change into interrogative)

12.It’s the same damn thing. (Change into interrogative)

13.His breath was icy . (Change into a complex sentence)

14.Aurelio Escovar, a dentist without a degree, and a very early riser, opened his office at six. (Change into a simple sentence)

15.He was polishing a gold tooth. His son shouted again from the little waiting room. (Change into a complex sentence)

16.He put a fistful of instruments. He arranged in size order. (Change into a complex sentence)

17.He closed the drawer with the tip of his fingertips. (Change the verb into future continuous tense)

18.“To you or to the town?”, said the dentist. (Change the narration)

19.The Mayor continued with the extraction of tooth. (Replace the underlined word with a phrasal verb)