What man has the knowledge to decide who should live or die? Author Richard Selzer uses a first person narrative to describe the differences between a doctor and a priest in his short story “The surgeon as priest”. He wrote the story as nurse working in a hospital observing two medical professionals. He made a big impression by introducing Yeshi Dhonden as a foreigner to contrast him from the other doctors. In the first paragraph the author describes the narrators’ “ ill- concealed dubiety” and “ suspicion of bamboozlement ” to set a mood of uneasiness and suspense.
The following sentences reinforce the fact that Yeshi’s methods are unorthodox to the hospital staff by describing his preparations, and making them feel like “ a soiled, uncouth lot”. Selzer’s words show the patient in a situation she did not want. He shows a patient that has been through so many examinations that they have “exterminated” all the suspense from her body. The author then portrays Yeshi as being in a state of serenity and being in-tune with himself.
The narrator is however, portrayed in a state of astonishment, along with the rest of the hospital staff as they watch this foreigner dumbfound everyone with his unique procedure. Selzer shows the narrator captivated by Yeshi’s every move because the author has started to illustrate Yeshi as another worldly being. He is shown as an “ exotic golden bird with folded wings “. The sentences compliment the image of virtue by describing the procedure as a holy ritual being performed by a godly priest. Although the narrator is still engrossed in the procedure, he/she is starting to show envy towards the patient. And the reason the author exhibits this emotion is because he/she is showing that the narrator is feeling a loss of attention from her to the patient
Yeshi at last finishes his examination his examination by performing a small “ritual” involving the patient’s urine sample. As he stood up to leave, the sickly patient stood upright and...