Do You Agree with the View That Mary Seacole , and Not Florence Nightingale , Was the Real ‘Angle of Mercy’ During the Crimean War?

Topics: Crimean War, Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole Pages: 3 (1186 words) Published: February 26, 2013
Do you agree with the view that Mary Seacole , and not Florence Nightingale , was the real ‘angle of mercy’ during the Crimean War? During the Crimean war, both Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale showed aspects of being angels. The word ‘angel’ suggests a heavenly person who is attentive to the soldiers’ needs, and ‘mercy’ means showing kindness and forgiveness, and the ‘angel of mercy’ basically suggests a compassionated and kind-hearted person who empathizes and helps soldiers in need. Although Nightingale had showed the aspects of being an “angel of mercy”, the amount of work and commitment Seacole had put in outweighs Nightingale’s; therefore I believe Mary Seacole deserves the title of the real “angel of mercy”. Florence Nightingale actions mainly focused on the hygiene and cleanliness, and the organization of the hospital since the majority of the death was due to neglect of sanitation. Source U is a lithograph of one of the wards in the Barrack Hospital in Scutari, where Nightingale was in charge of. It showed the hospital was clearly clean and organized with windows opened, clean floor, wide space between organized beds, suggesting that the soldiers’ conditions were getting better. Nightingale was also very hardworking, because even at night she used to walk around the hospital carrying a lamp to check on the patients, hence she is also known as the “The Lady with the Lamp” throughout the history, which shows her commitment in her work as a nurse. She certainly had “formidable gifts of organization” as it says on source V, and her involvement in the war had also made a huge impact on the death rate, which reduced from 42 per 1000 to 2 per 1000 in June 1855. Despite the fall of the death, 5000 men died in her hospital due to poor hygiene in the winter of 1854-1855 before the sanitary commission arrived, yet she refused to acknowledged that it was from the lack of sanitation and said the men were “half dead” when they were brought in, because at that...
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