"The Use of Force" is a short story by the American author William Carlos Williams. It was first published in his short story collection Life Along the Passaic River (1938. The story is narrated in the first person by a physician, who is making a house call to tend to a sick girl. Fearing she may have diphtheria, the doctor decides to check her throat. However, the girl refuses to open her mouth, and the doctor uses force to restrain her and examine her throat with a spoon, which angers the girl. The doctor finds that, against her own self-interest, the girl has hidden the symptoms of diphtheria from her parents and the doctor.