How Do You Define Triage?

Triage defined in the dictionary is the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties. However, that definition can be interpreted in many different ways. Triage medical techniques were necessary during Hurricane Catrina in New Orleans. Sheri Fink explores whether or not Memorial Hospital’s doctors were following a moral code or abusing their power in her article, “The Deadly Choices at Memorial Hospital.” Memorial Hospital was in a state of panic as their power went out and resources became scarce. The only way to help patients was to evacuate them and there were limited first responders arriving at the hospital. This meant that certain patients would get to evacuate much earlier than others. This brought up the question: who gets to leave first? What choices could bring the greatest good? Did Memorial Hospital do the right thing? Memorial Hospital Doctors split their patients into 3 groups. In broad terms, Group 1 was the most healthy and Group 3 was the least healthy and required the most assistance. Group 1 patients were evacuated first, then Group 2, and Group 3 was last. This choice basically let the sickest people die. Another kind of triage would be to give resources to the people who need it most. If Memorial Hospital did that, Group 3 would be evacuated first. That would give group 3 the best chance to survive, and people who could afford to wait, would wait to be evacuated. I think that Memorial Hospital made wrong choices in how they evacuated people and also how they made their 3 categories of patients.

Many factors were taken into account by Memorial Hospital. One that I found controversial was the emphasis on DNR. Patients with DNR were automatically placed into a lower group. This meant that doctors assumed patients with DNR orders did not want to fight as much or live as much as patients without DNR. I think this a wrong assumption and that the doctors made the wrong call. DNR should not have been considered that strongly in their decision making. I believe that a DNR has no correlation to someones current happiness and love of life. Memorial Hospitals doctors were not trained properly for this situation and I believe their triage during Hurricane Katrina was immoral.

The Villain Inside a Superhero

Doctors are said to do the works of a miracle by treating an ill patient back to health. They fight with death every day to not let any patients slip away. A doctor generally decides what treatment should be given to a patient. The article, “The Deadly Choices at Memorial” describes the time during hurricane Katrina when Memorial doctors had to euthanize the sickest patients while the ‘not so ill’ patients were being evacuated. It raises many questions in this complex situation- how much control should a doctor hold over his or her patients? Should they command the death of a patient or let them die over time? Acknowledging that the hospital resources were getting limited due to hurricane Katrina, it is not easy to pick an extreme side.

The doctors who “…had hastened the deaths of some patients…”(Fink, 1) argued that they had no choice but to calculate which patients in the unit valued the most. The situation gets more controversial when the article states, “Several[of the patients] were almost certainly not near death when they were injected…” (Fink, 2). This tells me that the doctors and nurses simply tried to get rid of patients to make their work easier to handle. In this case, I feel like the doctors should have prioritized the most vulnerable patients so that they could receive resources faster. Evacuating those patients who are able to walk delayed the time for others who were surviving on limited resources. I acknowledge that the doctors and the nurses had the intention to ease their pain but it does not seem ethical to their service, especially when they had the choice to evacuate them first. It makes me disagree with the doctors’ actions when they addressed the terminally ill patients as ‘hopeless cases’ and ‘turkeys’ (Fink, 3). Their views degrade their beings and contradict their careers as doctors.

I think terminally ill patients should not receive lethal injections unless it is the very last hope. In the article, it states, “… The Coast Guard offered to evacuate more patients, but those in charge at Memorial declined” (6). This tells me that help was there to relocate patients in huge medical needs but their lives were considered the least valuable in society. While hurricane Katrina may contribute to natural selection, doctors should not have the power to contribute to artificial selection in terms of which patient should be evacuated.

The Selfish Nature of Men

Good and evil are concepts that people today have trouble coming to an agreement with because everyone has different opinions. Subsequently, in today’s society there are several injustices that take place because people do not want to recognize the harm they cause others. In the film “Chinatown” directed by Roman Polanski the theme of injustice is presented through the lens of rape. This led me to wonder what meaning does the director want to convey in using rape as his central example of the injustice within society. After watching this film, I found that there are two primary examples that demonstrate the concept of rape both in a literally and metaphorical sense. The first example from the film that illustrates the idea of rape was when the audience finds out that the father of Evelyn Mulwray raped his daughter at the age of fourteen. This was a literal example of rape because Noah Cross took the innocence of his daughter by force for his own sexual pleasure. Another way the director used the concept of rape to demonstrate the injustice in society was with the water scandal. The criminals took away the water supply from the general population. Many viewers may be confused on how the director used the concept of rape in this situation. I would argue that the concept of rape was used metaphorically in the sense that water was grasped away from society. In further explanation, Polanski used the fact that the setting of the film is in California, a state that is going through a drought to illustrate the fact that Noah striped society from its water supply in order to gain profit and power over the city.

I noticed that in both these situations the attacker was a male character. Therefore, I believe that Roman Polanski tried to convey the message that gender inequality is driven by ambition and greed. Men in this film take what they want without considering the harm they cause others. Noah Cross is portrayed as an abusive selfish and power hungry man. His character depicts the idea that rape is manufactured by the desire to gain profit and power over others. The cops who are under the orders of Noah Cross support my claim because they end up killing Evelyn even though she had a good reason on why she wanted to escape with her sister/daughter. This scene shows how the males in the film believe that they hold power over women. At the end of the film, Noah maintains authority even though he is corrupt. This outcome poses the issue that men who rape in society sometimes have immunity because they hold power which protects them from suffering the consequences for their crimes.

The Wings of Fate

In the film Cast Away, Chuck Noland embarks on a unique journey in which his plane crashes over the Pacific Ocean and he washes up upon the shore of an island. Here, he finds packages washed ashore. He opens all except one and by the end of the movie he returns it to it’s original destination. My question is, what is the symbolism of the package and how does the director Robert Zemeckis tie this symbolism into other themes of the movie?

After surviving 4 years on the island, Chuck never opened the last package with a drawing of orange fluorescent wings on the front. This package was a sign of hope and resembled his own personal determination to survive. Flashback to the beginning of the movie, we see a Texas ranch with a sign that has the wings on it as well as “Dick Bettina.” This is where the package originally came from. I also believe Zemeckis used wings as the symbol on the package because wings represent transportation from place to place, as well as guardian angels. This package, although just a box with it’s contents never revealed, becomes a major pinnacle in Chuck’s survival. As seen when he is dropping off the package, he writes, “This package saved my life. Thank you. Chuck Noland” (2:13:38-2:13:48).

At the end of the film, Chuck ends up at the same crossroads where the movie began. However, now the name “Dick” has been removed from the arch at the front of the ranch. This represents the failure in the marriage between Bettina and Dick. It is at the same time Chuck has found out that his ex-fiancé, who thought he was dead, is now married with a child. Chuck meets Bettina coincidentally at the crossroads and as she’s driving away he notices the orange wings on the back of her truck. We as viewers are left to believe that these “wings” guided his fate throughout the movie, and now he is left with a decision, to follow the wings once more, or take another path.

The Power of Water

As we have seen throughout this class, water has been portrayed in several different ways— for example, it has been shown as a barrier, a necessity, and a danger. However, many times we have seen it portrayed as a powerful entity with negative connotations. For example, in “The World of Myth: An Anthology” and “The Swimming Pool” water acts as a danger to humankind and has the ability to harm people. “By the Water” by Sharyn Rothstein recounts the trama from Hurricane Sandy and its impact on life in Staten Island in particular. In the play, how is water portrayed, and what does it represent?

I will argue that water is portrayed as a menace to society, and it essentially represents power. Scene 1 opens with stage directions that describe the stage as “the ravaged remains of a house” (7). By using the word ravage, we immediately get a sense of the depth and seriousness of the destruction of the house from the hurricane. Furthermore, at the point in the play when Andrea gets frustrated with Marty, she describes the effects of the hurricane. As a result of the hurricane, she is left with nothing, not even a dish towel or spoon. She also explains how the water essentially destroyed “all those memories” (16). Thus, Andrea emphasizes the power of the water due to its ability to destroy everything she once had. This also shows the danger of water because it has harmed Andrea and her belongings both physically and mentally. Also, the prevalence of the hurricanes and the fact that they cannot be prevented show the power of the water. When Sal attempts to convince his parents to move, he says, “This is the second hurricane in two years. You stay here, you’ll have another one just like it to deal with” (11). Thus, Sal emphasizes the destructibility of hurricanes and their persistency. They are so strong and powerful that they cannot be avoided.

Rothstein also provides a strong visual representation of the power of the water. As a result of the hurricane, Andrea and Philip’s house was completely destroyed as they “had water right up to the ceiling” (18). This language evokes an image within the reader that represents the power of the water to overcome everything and fill up the entire house, washing everything away. Water also possesses a strong visual when Sal describes the hurricane as a “thirty-foot wave” (27). This image of a superior wave illustrates the domination of water and its overpowering effects.

Thus, Rothstein portrays water as a superior, dominating force that has the power to overcome society and affect humankind negatively, sometimes in ways that are life changing.

How does the water change his life?

Are you interested in the story of Robinson Crouse? There is a modern version of living on an isolated island. The movie Cast Away (2000) is directed by Robert Zemeckis. It tells the story about Chuck Noland who experienced a storm that makes the plan he taken crushed into the sea on Christmas, was trapped alone on an island for 4 years and finally being rescued. However, there is a huge difference in his life. So, how does the water change his life?


At very first, the water makes him isolated from the outside world by bringing him to an island that is ignored when searching for survivors. Also, the water brings the dead body of the pilot and his shoes, and waves hit his leg on the coral and make it bleed. Sadly, he is surrounded by water, but he still has to use all kind of skills to get water that is drinkable. The water makes him, who was always living in a modern technological society to live along and with barely any help of the tools from civilization. However, the sea is also bringing the packages that help to keep him living. The skating shoes are used as knives, and even help to knock off his bad tooth. The ball is colored by blood to be his friend Wilson that he can talk to. It even brings part of the plane to him that helps him a lot when building a raft to escape from the island. The water makes him living an uncivilized life with tools that remind him of his past, and gives him strike but also hope, and the chance to go back to his old life. When he is sailing on the sea, the water brings Wilson away, which to me is a hint that the water will take him back to the human society that his real friends will chat with him, instead of this ball. Also, when he is comatose, the water wakes him up, and remind him to let him get help. The water takes him away, and helps him back to the world, by stealing his time away, and makes him thinks about his life. He used to see work as a priority, but he has learned that the people you love, and the health is the most important things, and sometimes time can change all the things including love, but some love like the friendship, and the passion of doing things that a person always like may never change.

The Destructive Power of Love

In AS Byatt’s, Sea Story the main character Harold finds himself in love with a woman named Laura that he met by the ocean. When Laura and Harold met for the first time Harold’s overwhelming feelings for Laura gave Laura a bad first impression. At the end of their first interaction (which is also their last), Laura informs Harold “I’ve just been offered my dream job. I’m going to be part of a team studying the life-cycle of eels. This letter is my acceptance. I’m off to the Caribbean next week.”(Byatt). Harold, who was so hurt to see his new crush leave asks for her address so he can write her.  Creeped out by this notion and gives him a fake address and leaves. After sending many love notes to Laura and receiving no response, Harold decides to write her a love poem and he puts it in a bottle and drop in the ocean similar to a time where he found a love letter in ocean pollution. Should Harold be reprimanded for sending the poem to Laura through this mode of transportation?

Harold should be reprimanded for sending Laura the poem in this manor because it is harmful to the environment and unrealistic.  The narrator highlights the damage that Harold’s bottle does to the ocean. In the text it states, “The mollymawk tore at it, and carried away a smeared strip to feed to its chicks, who would die with bellies distended by this stuff. The cap detached itself, and was swallowed by a green turtle which mistook it for a glass eel”(Byatt). It is clear that Harold’s bottle which seemed harmless at first, was very harmful. In addition to being harmful, the idea of the bottle reaching Laura is quite unrealistic. The narrator states, “Then he closed the bottle tightly, and rowed out in his boat to where he knew, from his grandfather’s work, that the currents could possibly take the message as far as the Sargasso Sea”(Byatt). The sargasso’s sea’s proximity between Laura and Harold is simply not enough of a reason to expect its currents to take one bottle to Laura’s precise location from Harold. In conclusion, Harold should be reprimanded because of his irrational plans and harmful littering of the ocean.

Movie Misconception: The Good or The Evil?


My last blog post, published on January 30th, 2019, touched on the notion of protagonist blindness. I interpret it as being wired to root for the protagonist, and while doing so, seem to be blinded by all the negatives they do. This is a common theme among movies, even in The Shape of Water. We seem to be blinded by all the destruction Eliza causes through the heist of freeing a creature. The heist puts Giles at gunpoint, causes injury to a guard, destroys a car and causes overall havoc to the government-run facility. Eliza’s “opponent”, Strickland, is a lead character in the government operation and is displayed as evil, or the bad guy. He is seen abusing the creature with a stick, disrespecting Eliza and Zelda verbally, shooting the creature and Eliza as well as horrendously abusing the Russian doctor. However, through all this commotion, is Strickland actually the good guy? We are, in a way, overseeing the good of Strickland because he is chasing after the so-called “innocent”, Eliza.

I interpret Strickland as being a good guy. My first reason is that he catches the traitor scientist. The U.S was attempting to keep the creature away from the Russians. The scientist is seen throughout the movie leaking information to what seemed like Russian spies, however, Strickland does not allow that to happen because he kills the scientist and two spies. My second reason he is a good guy is that he is polite. While many interpret the scene where he “does his business” in front of the two janitors as disrespectful and disgusting, I see the scene as him showing character. He says, “Ladies, it was very pleasant chatting with you both (00:17:58).” He thanks the two ladies for chatting with him, which I see as nice. My third reason why Strickland is a good guy is that he is doing his job with great passion. He is a government official who is doing his duty of getting back what was stolen. He is chasing the bad guys.

As a viewer, how could one be rooting for those who do the illegal deed? While one can argue Strickland does many illegal actions, he does it however for the protection of the U.S (Killing the spies) and to attempt to regain the once owned government project. Strickland is actually the good guy. We are, in a way, overseeing the good of Strickland because he is chasing after the so-called “innocent”, Eliza. As a viewer think to your self, could Strickland be seen as the fallen hero?


No more happy endings

The movie Chinatown (1974) directed by Roman Polanski offers a rare entity to the film world— an ending where the antagonist wins. My question is why does Polanski conclude his movie like this? The main plot of Chinatown encompasses the protagonist, Jake Gittes a private investigator, attempting to uncover an adultery case, but instead he gets caught up in a murder investigation, a conspiracy on water management, and state corruption. Noah Cross, the main antagonist, is the man causing corruption within the city of Los Angeles. He is also the father of the woman whose husband gets murdered. Noah appears amicable on the exterior, but hides his ruthless character inside. He says to Jake, “You may think you know what you’re dealing with. But believe me you don’t,” (Chinatown, 1974). This quote embodies the character that is Noah Cross, a deceitful man with disgusting tendencies to demoralize the city of Los Angeles. In the end, Noah gets the police to support him, steals his escaped child back, and Jake is left bewildered.

So, why does Polanski allow Noah to get away with this? One possible reason, often seen in the film industry, is to provide the movie with the base for a possible sequel.  Adding a suspenseful twist at the end allows for this framework. In fact, a sequel to Chinatown was created, however, it took the producers 16 years to make. Polanski could not have possibly been thinking this far in advance. Therefore, there must be another reason. One possible explanation is to provide a plot that may deter from the norms of the film industry and coincide more with reality. Today, one can see that society and politics are corrupt. It is usually the people with the most wealth and power that ultimately win. Polanski may have been attempting to expose this corruption within the 1930’s setting of Chinatown. Providing a twist at the end also leaves the viewer left with questions. These questions may be the ones that Polanski hoped would foster change in the world at the time. In this way, Chinatown becomes an indication for viewers to regain reality and open their eyes to what’s really happening around them. It is inevitable that life doesn’t always have happy endings, so why should this movie be an exception?

What Does the Pool Mean?

During our guest speaker last Friday I was actually contemplating how I would respond to Greg Taubman’s main question. Therefore, my question for this blog post is what does the pool in the set of Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses mean?


Evidently, as Greg pointed out, there is not just one answer to a question like this. It does ultimately come down to what the viewer sees, what it makes them feel, what it reminds them of, and why. Greg’s biggest evidence of this process in terms of theater and literature was his own experience directing the play Metamorphoses. He said that he was told from the start that they were not going to be able to include the pool like the original play did. Therefore, he needed to assess what exactly the pool meant to him when he was reading and viewing this play and how he could incorporate this meaning in a different way in his own production of this play.


I spent a lot of time during Greg’s presentation actually trying to think of a legitimate and sensible explanation as to the inclusion of the pool. So here it is:


During the first scene of Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses the opening scene depicts a woman kneeling by a pool and talking to a scientist about the origins of our earth: “WOMAN. […] The sea upon which they shone quickened with fish, and the woods and meadows with game, and the air with twittering birds. Each order of creature settling in to itself. ZEUS. A paradise, it would seem, except one thing was lacking: words” (Zimmerman Scene 1, Act 1). This quote make reference to a time before human existed and infiltrated the described paradise. Continuing off this, it is important to understand that Greek mythology originated in ancient Greece and served the purpose of explaining everything. For example, Greek mythology explains religion, religious rituals, and even thinks like the weather. Ultimately, it gives meaning and purpose to the world that we live in. After considering this opening scene and taking into consideration my own knowledge of Greek mythology I came to my conclusion. The pool is the physical embodiment and reference to the very beginning of Earth before mankind existed. Therefore, combined with the fact that Zimmerman is recreating these Greek myths I feel like her purpose is to explore how mankind came to be and show the relationship between what existed before man and how we exist now.