The passage from the “Petrified Man” that consists mostly or entirely of dialogue is when Mrs. Hicks and Mandy are talking in the store room. Mrs. Hicks says, “Now let me tell you, Mandy, I’m not as dumb as I look. And this here petrified man has been bringin’ more customers into my store than anything else.”
Choose one passage from “Petrified Man” that consists mostly or entirely of dialogue. Interpret what this piece of dialogue reveals about the character speaking and/or about the conflict driving the story.
This piece of dialogue reveals a couple of things about Mrs. Hicks and her motivations surrounding the petrified man story. Firstly, it shows that Mrs. Hicks is cunning and knows how to capitalize on a situation to make money – she recognizes that the petrified man’s presence has led to an influx in customers and she isn’t afraid to take advantage of it for her own gain. Additionally, this dialogue also reveals how desperate Mrs. Hicks is for success in her business; she has likely realized that by sustaining the petrified man story people will continue coming into her shop which means more money for her and hence why she is so keen to keep up with fiction around it even though she knows it’s false..
It also reveals something about the conflict driving the story – namely, greed vs morality/truthfulness; while Mandy wants to tell everyone what really happened with the Petrified Man (i.e., he was a normal person who died naturally) but Mrs. Hicks doesn’t want anyone knowing because doing so would ruin their business which relies heavily on visitors wanting to see him out of curiosity due his supposed “petrification” thus hinting at underlying themes such as truth versus profit-seeking motives within society