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Chapter 7: Birth
THOUGH it was nearly midnight when Andrew reached Bryngower, he found Joe Morgan waiting for him, walking up and down with short steps between the closed surgery and the entrance to the house. At the sight of him the burly driller’s face expressed relief. “Eh, Doctor, I’m glad to see you. I been back and forward here this last hour. The missus wants ye —before time, too.” Andrew, abruptly recalled from the contemplation of his own affairs, told Morgan to wait. He went into the house for his bag,then together they set out for Number 12 Blaina Terrace.
The night air was cool and deep with quiet mystery. Usually so perceptive, Andrew now felt dull and listless. He had no premonition that this night call would prove unusual, still less that it would influence his whole future in Blaenelly. The two men walked in silence until they reached the door of Number 12, then Joe drew up short.
“I’ll not come in,” he said, and his voice showed signs of strain. “But, man, I know ye’ll do well for us.” Inside, a narrow stair led up to a small bedroom, clean but poorly furnished, and lit only by an oil lamp. Here Mrs Morgan’s mother, a tall, grey-haired woman of nearly seventy, and the stout, elderly midwife waited beside the patient, watching Andrew’s expression as he moved about the room.
“Let me make you a cup of tea, Doctor, bach,” said the former quickly, after a few moments. Andrew smiled faintly. He saw that the old woman, wise in experience, realised there must be a period of waiting that, she was afraid he would leave the case, saying he would return later. “Don’t fret, mother, I’ll not run away.” Down in the kitchen he drank the tea which she gave him.
Overwrought as he was, he knew he could not snatch even an hour’s sleep if he went home. He knew, too, that the case here would demand all his attention. A queer lethargy of spirit came upon him. He decided to remain until everything was over. An hour later he went upstairs again, noted the progress made, came down once more, sat by the kitchen fire. It was still, except for the rustle of a cinder in the grate and the slow tick-tock of the wall clock. No, there was another sound —the beat of Morgan’s footsteps as he paced in the street outside.
The old woman opposite him sat in her black dress, quite motionless, her eyes strangely alive and wise, probing, never leaving his face. His thoughts were heavy, muddled. The episode he had witnessed at Cardiff station still obsessed him morbidly. He thought of Bramwell, foolishly devoted to a woman who deceived him sordidly, of Edward Page, bound to the shrewish Blodwen, of Denny, living unhappily, apart from his wife. His reason told him that all these marriages were dismal failures. It was a conclusion which, in his present state, made him wince.
He wished to consider marriage as an idyllic state; yes, he could not otherwise consider it with the image of Christine before him. Her eyes, shining towards him, admitted no other conclusion. It was the conflict between his level, doubting mind and his overflowing heart which left him resentful and confused. He let his chin sink upon his chest, stretched out his legs, stared broodingly into the fire. He remained like this so long, and his thoughts were so filled with Christine, that he started when the old woman opposite suddenly addressed him. Her meditation had pursued a different course.
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NCERT Solutions Class 11 English Chapter 7 Birth
1. “I have done something; oh, God! I’ve done something real at last.” Why does Andrew say this? What does it mean?
Andrew spoke these words in the ecstasy of saving both the mother and the child’s lives. Andrew was depressed before the operation because of the pain his girlfriend had caused him. When he successfully delivered the baby, he discovered that the baby had died. Then he decided to first cure the mother, which he did. Following that, he carefully observed the baby and determined the problem. He then immediately administered the necessary treatment and resuscitated the baby. As a result, he successfully did something meaningful. Till that point, he was just thinking and then he did something real.
2. There lies a great difference between textbook medicine and the world of a practising physician. Discuss.
The world of practicing physicians and textbook medicine is vastly different. Textbook medicine is purely scientific, whereas patient care is an art. The world of practicing physicians necessitates a unique set of abilities and knowledge. Although textbook medicine provides a conceptual framework for treatment, no doctor can treat a patient without employing intuitive practices. The way Andrew brings a stillborn child back to life in the story Birth attests to this fact. The nurse initially dumps the child, believing it to be dead. Andrews, on the other hand, takes a chance, and the miracle occurs. He initially applies textbook knowledge, but the child does not recover. He never gives up hope. He uses his intuitive method, and the miracle occurs. Treatment is based on science and goes beyond. It is a science as well as an art form. Birth is a work of realistic fiction. In other words, the story’s elements have been drawn from real-life experiences and woven into the fabric of fiction.
NCERT Class 11 English Textbook Chapter 7 With Answer PDF Free Download