Study Guide Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder|
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NOTES - MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS NOTES
Farmer and Kidder arrive in Paris to see his wife and daughter on their way to Russia. Farmer once had asked Didi if Paris wasn’t the loveliest city in the world. She had been moved by it differently: “Knowing that this splendor came from the suffering of my ancestors.” That also became the subject she is studying now - the archives of French slave masters and the detailed records they had kept of their commerce in West Africans. Didi and Catherine live in the Marais district, and Farmer and Kidder are staying long enough to celebrate Catherine’s second birthday. The lack of time Farmer is devoting to his family becomes a bone of contention between him and Didi. For those who have always seen him as a monument to perfection, it is relief to see that he has this chink in his armor. He has a hard time himself justifying the idea that he loves his own daughter more than Haitian children. He came to realize this when he tried to save a baby whose mother had developed eclampsia. He hurried to save the child, but it was still-born. He began to cry and realized that it wasn’t for the dead child, but because he imagined Catherine lying there dead at birth. He knows that this is the way he’s supposed to feel, but it still induces guilt in him. He says if people ask him where he gets off thinking he can love all children as much as his own, he will answer, “I can’t, but I’m going to keep on trying. Comma.”
It occurs to Kidder that many people would love to be like Farmer, waking up knowing what they ought to do and feeling that they are doing it. But there wouldn’t be many who would willingly take on the difficulties, giving up their comforts and time with their families. Farmer spends the summers with his family, but in the meantime, there are the hard and lonely days and nights. He carries two pictures of children with him: one is of Catherine and the other is of a Haitian child with kwashiorkor. The second picture is a symbol of all the people suffering from TB and perhaps his willingness to try to love them all equally.
At Catherine’s party, there a number of people with whom Farmer has made PIH connections. They are people who are more than......
This chapter is particularly important in understanding Paul Farmer’s character. He has peculiarities in his language and feels guilt at loving his daughter more than Haitian children. He tries hard to change that nonetheless. He works hard also at embracing a.......
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Mountains Beyond Mountains Summary Study Guide