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The Night the Bed Fell

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"The Night the Bed Fell" is a short story written by American author James Thurber. The story is a brief account of an event that took place at his house in Columbus, Ohio. It appears as chapter one of My Life and Hard Times.



The story is a memoir written in the first person. It has a subjective angle, and is ordered chronologically. There are seven main characters, including James (the narrator) and several other family members such as his mother, father, two brothers, cousin, uncle, three aunts, and his grandfather.

The plot for "The Night The Bed Fell" starts with James Thurber's explaining his "interesting" family, including a crazy cousin that thinks he will die of suffocation during his sleep, and a grandfather that leaves the house for several days, coming back talking about the Civil War as if it were still on. When James falls out of his army cot and his mom mistakes the crash for his father's death, the story starts to get chaotic. The Night the Bed Fell.

One night when Thurber crashes down from his army cot, his mother comes to the immediate conclusion that the heavy headboard up in the attic had crashed down on the father, fatally injuring him. She started shouting and on hearing the shouts, Herman who is the narrator's brother thinks that mother has become hysterical, and so assures her that she is alright.then wakes up Briggs Beall who is the narrator's nervous first cousin who wakes up thinking that the hue and cry in the house was going on due to his ceasing breath, and so he pours over himself a glass of camphor spirit to revive himself. Roy and the dog wake up. At last the father who's the deepest sleeper in the house wakes up thinking that the house is on fire. When he says that he is coming his wife thinks that he's going up to the heavens. After a while the incident gets sorted out and mother who was quite optimistic in nature concludes and feels safe that her father-in-law was not at home.


This story had a sequel, More Alarms at Night.


The Night the Bed Fell Wikipedia

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