Tuesday, January 29, 2008

From Large Scale to Small Scale

Henry Perowne's day is filled with a constant variation of large things beyond his control to smaller events which greatly affect him. He goes from feeling like the greatest neurosurgeon in all of London to an ant in the great scheme of things when discussing the war in Iraq. His argument with his daughter really hits home Henry's feeling of "if I'm not directly involved, how can I have any affect on the matter". His entire day is dodging the crowded streets of London where protests against the war are taking place. It is as if he is not only dodging the crowd, but the entire struggle with the war.

This all changes though when his encounter with Baxter inherits a visit to Henry's home during a dinner with his family. Baxter's break-in gives Henry a revised outlook on himself and his existence. His courage with Theo to repel Baxter is Henry's first step in his growth, which this book shows, is never over.

Henry, who even when discussing the war with his daughter seems to not even really comprehend that 9/11 and Iraq are serious matters, now has a new understanding on society and life. Perhaps the most moving part of the novel is when he starts to think about his family and realizes that something could happen to them at any time. He thinks of Rosalind's baby that is on the way and the future with a grand child in the picture. This entire scenario pushes Henry past his surgeries and squash matches to a better understanding of the world around him. It is amazing how one event can really make one realize just how important everyone and everything is around him, and that it is the same with those in Iraq.

1 comment:

Erin Sells said...

I like how you pick up on the fact that the news of Daisy's pregnancy pushes Henry into the future in a way that we hadn't seen previously in the novel.