“We are all affected by war in some way, however slight” Scott Anderson’s Triage reveals the affects war has on people by linking the characters through war and parallel stories. From a pressured Dr. Talzani operating in a cave in Kurdistan to Mark and Colin who are war photographers and Elena and Diane their partners .As well as a ‘specialist’ war psychiatrist, Joaquin Morales. Anderson uses various techniques and symbols to communicate these ideas and writes in a conversational format to incorporate the reader into the journey.
Talzani is a dark mysterious character who suppresses his emotions and detaches himself of any responsibilities in others fate to cope with his job of Triaging his patients. With limited provisions Talzani is under constant stress as the wounded soldiers are omitted more frequently and although the doctor wants to save everyone he possible can’t. Talzani uses humor to get by, “If I stay here long enough, I will start killing more people than I save ”. Talzani is affected by his job of killing the soldiers who have received a blue tag and after he does this his hands were noted shaking and he takes a routine ‘smoko’. However Dr. Talzani mainly copes by believing in fate, “My little tags are for them, because they need to believe there is a system. For me, I know it is all fate ”, “There is no explanation for who dies and lives in war…We invent all types of explanation and superstitions for why things happen” . We are shown how this technique is successful by how Talzani reveals how he sleeps easy at night even when he admits to handing out wrong tags to his patients. “Men suffering from nothing more than dehydration or a broken arm…have been given blues”.
Joaquin Morales is a retired ‘unorthodox’ Physiatrist, who was head of a Mental Purification Institution which restored soldiers from the Spanish civil war. During the civil war Joaquin fled from his home leavening his family behind and survived months in the Aplujarra Mountains...
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