“Next morning he was back at Lawley Extension at ten. From his car he made a dash for the sick bed. The patient was awake and looked very well. The assistant reported satisfactory pulse. The doctor put his tube to his heart, listened for a while and told the sick man’s wife, ‘Don’t look so unhappy, lady. Your husband will live to be ninety.’ When they were going back to the hospital, the assistant sitting beside him in the car asked, ‘Is he going to live, sir?'”
“‘I will bet on it. He will live to be ninety. He has turned the corner. How he has survived this attack will be a puzzle to me all my life,’ replied the doctor.”
N. K Narayan. The Doctor’s Word in Malgudi Days. Penguins Classic, 2006. 25
This passage was interesting because in the start of the story it was mentioned that the Doctor only spoke the “truth;” therefore, it made me wonder if the word of the Doctor is the truth. Whatever comes out of his mouth ends up being true even though he does not believe it himself. This makes me wonder if the Doctor has the power in allowing one to live or die. It felt weird that the Doctor was surprised himself that his friend ended up surviving when the Doctor was unsure of his own words. However, once the words that his friend would survive came out of his mouth, his friend spontaneously became better.
“Mischief unravels and the fine high hand of Heaven proffers the skein again, combed and forgiven!” (Barnes 24).
I’m going to be honest, I don’t really understand a lot of what the doctor is saying. However I think in this conversation, he is talking about how religion is almost meaningless because God will forgive you of your sins regardless. I don’t think he’s really a religious man and believe that you are born a Christian and so you will die a Christian and God is happy enough with that.
“I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind–and that of the minds of the ones who the suffer the bereavement.”
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text. First Vintage International Edition. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. Print.
Although the previous statement was made by a Doctor attending and treating a dying mother, does his words hold truth, thus, value? Claiming that death is simply a function of the mind may not be necessarily truth, due to the fact that causes of death such as respiratory failure, or failure of a essential organ has nothing to do with the mind itself, but a culmination of several physical issues that lead to the ultimate consequence. However, I do agree with the second claim of the doctor’s statement; loved ones of the deceased are the ones that may suffer the most mentally after the passing. And it is them that suffer the grievance of the process of letting the loved one go and attainment of peace and closure.