Quote 1: It was clear that to be a New Yorker could mean so many things that it meant practically nothing at all (p32).
This quote is a thought by Deo when he first got to New York and was living in Central Park . Having survived a civil war in Burundi, Deo escaped to US in search of a safer and better life. Just like many other immigrants he believed that US was the land full of opportunities and promises, but at this moment, he was feeling lonelier than ever before. This lonely feeling made Deo think that he had wrongly judged the US by thinking that it was the ultimate destination for success in life. This is usually a common feeling with individuals who travel from their country’s in search of a fortune in other countries but when initially faced with hardships in these host countries they tend to feel lonely and regretful for having left their home Countries. However after they adapt to their new environment , just like Deo did, they change their prior mentality and create room for self progress.
Quote 2: “In Burundi, village elders would say, “When too much is too much or too bad is too bad, we laugh as if it was too good” (p. 36)
This is a quote that is very important when analyzing the life of Deo in America. He was facing a lot of hardships in the US since he had no contacts and did not know English. He used to enter the Central Park at late hours as he did not want to be branded homeless. But he took everything lightly, as the quote suggests, and he managed to rise from the bottom of the social hierarchy that he was in into a respectable young medical doctor.
Quote 3: “Offensive things are so offensive to him , understandably. Its like he has no skin . Everything just penetrates so much”(p156)
These are words from Joia Mukherjee while they were working with Deo and Farmer at partners in Health, Boston. This remark shows how some people can get irritated by various things. Joia made an honest remark about how she perceived Deo. Deo had a character that could not only be irritated by offensive things but also not at peace when things were not being done so as to benefit the society. While a student at Columbia, He feels bad when he recalls how patients in Burundi would be sent back home not only because they lacked finances but also because of being dirty and smelling badly (p109).
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Kidder, Tracy. (2011). Strength in What Remains. Gardners Books.
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