Voices, Bodies, Power

04.18.2011, 2:11 PM

Doctor Plarr was a good listener. He had been trained to listen. Most of his middle-class patients were accustomed to spend at least ten minutes explaining a simple attack of the flu. It was only in the barrio of the poor that he ever encountered suffering in silence, suffering which had no vocabulary to explain a degree of pain, its position or its nature. In those huts of mud or tin where the patient often lay without covering on the dirt floor he had to make his own interpretation from a shiver of the skin or a nervous shift of the eyes.

 –Graham Green, The Honorary Consul (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973), 66.

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