The Hounds of Fate: Character Analysis of Martin Stoner
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H.H. Munro's (Saki's) short story "The Hounds of Fate," the aptly-named protagonist Martin stoner is described as being limp and powerless. His defining feature is "a natural slothfulness and improvidence had always intervened to blight any chance of even moderate success." Stoner is a wanderer, with no ambition or potential for change because he lacks the motivation with which to make any changes to his internal or external life. Letting life happen to him, rather than seizing the moment, "hunger, fatigue, and despairing hopelessness had numbed his brain, and he could scarcely summon sufficient energy to wonder what underlying impulse was driving him onward." This is the moment when Stoner's fate seems to change, at least for a while. An old man mistakes Martin Stoner for a man named Uncle Tom.
Meeting the old man is the first time in "The Hounds of Fate" in which power and authority shift, changing hands from a nebulous Fate to the concrete reality of Martin's ability to make a decision. His decision to allow the old man to believe his is Uncle Tom is sadly a passive decision, but it is a decision nonetheless. Martin's looks alone something that fate did provided him with becomes the basis of hope. For a brief moment, Stoner seems ironically in control of his life. He for the first time feels empowered enough to ask for what he wants in an assertive manner: "All this empowers him: ""Hot, with onions," said Stoner. It was the only time in his life that he had made a rapid