The good doctor damon galgut his futile preoccupations ….. o gosh corpus christi

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In Damon Galgut’s The Good Doctor, set in post-apartheid South Africa, two doctors, one high on idealism, and the other opting to bury himself in a dead-end job, both end up in the same ramshackle rural hospital. gas vs diesel mpg Who is the ‘Good Doctor’ here? Idealistic, young Dr Laurence Waters whose arrival sets off an uneasy chain of events or the narrator, burned-out middle-aged Frank Eloff, who prefers the status quo–even if that means years spent avoiding his estranged wife and the promising career expected of him?

So the bewilderment that Laurence Waters felt wasn’t unusual. electricity and magnetism study guide I’d been through it myself. bp gas prices ny And so I knew that the feeling would pass. gastritis In a week or two, the bewilderment would give way to something else: frustration maybe, or resentment, anger. And then that would turn into resignation. static electricity in water And after a couple of months Laurence would be suffering through his sentence here, like the rest of us, or else plotting a way to get out.

But Laurence’s emotional state doesn’t quite form as Frank predicts. ideal gas kinetic energy Laurence and Frank share a room together, and Frank is at first resentful at the intrusion but then finds that he enjoys the company. wikipedia electricity generation Soon, however, Laurence begins a programme to take medical care to the locals, and this shifts the delicate status quo within the hospital and the community. The narrator realises, uncomfortably, that “Laurence’s involvement and effort showed up a lack in me.”

The plot introduces some extraordinary secondary characters: Frank’s father, an aging celebrity doctor who thinks he can fix the world (as he used to do) with a chat with the right people, and Laurence’s American do-gooder girlfriend whose specious intentions are revealed when she meets a vicious dictator and treats him like some sort of rockstar.

This scene brings up the silent question: how does a white man used to apartheid fit into this ‘new’ still unstable South Africa? Frank has a sexual relationship with a local black woman and yet what is their connection? Is she his sex partner, his girlfriend, or is she a prostitute who asks for money? This is a stunning example of how Frank cannot penetrate black culture–how he remains an outsider, no matter what he does.

For this reader the novel was weakest in its portrayal of Laurence–a character who didn’t quite gel for me. He didn’t seem real–almost a caricature of an idealistic young man who is basically clueless and does more harm than good, and since he is a main character, this is unfortunate. Still I’ll remember this book for its troubling, complex moral landscape and some terrific secondary characters.

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