Summary OfThe Yellow Pill Short Story

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Sanity is in the mind of the beholder; one man’s reality may not be the reality of everyone. This becomes a sticking point when two men meet in either a psychiatrist’s office or in the depth of space in the short story “The Yellow Pill.” Since both men cannot be in reality, the story takes place in a comfortable office based on evidence from the story.
Throughout the story, Mr. Elton talks with Gerald Bocek in his office about the details of Jerry’s crime. It is at the end of each conversation they have in the office that proves them to be on Earth. Mr. Elton tells the police officers to take Gerald out of his office and back to the mental ward. For example, after their first conversation Mr. Elton says, “All right, take him away. Bring him back the same time tomorrow.” The two officers pushed him firmly toward the door. The officers taking Gerald out of his office every time they talk shows that they are on Earth and not in space. Gerald would die immediately if he was taken outside of a spaceship, because of the lack of atmospheric pressure and oxygen. Gerald also comes back into Mr. Elton’s office each day which means he couldn’t have died in space, which would be caused from leaving a spaceship every time Mr. Elton and him talk.
In the story Mr. Elton is discussing the problems about Gerald Bocek with Helena, but before they had started talking Gerald had told Mr. Elton to take a pill and that nothing bad would happen. During Mr. Elton’s conversation with Helena he says, “I took one three years ago when they first became available. You’d be surprised how little you actually see of what you look at, especially of people. You look at symbols instead. I had to cancel my appointments for a week.” Mr. Elton is proving that the pills blurred his sense of reality. This shows that the pills cause hallucination and the reality Gerald is living in is a messed up reality, furthering the argument for why they are on Earth. Towards the end of the story after Mr. Elton has taken the yellow pill and Gerald ejected himself from what they considered the airlock. When Gerald had ejected himself it is described as, “Jerry’s chest quickly expanded, then collapsed as a mixture of phlegm and blood dribbled from his

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