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"Mountains Beyond Mountains" book by Tracy Kidder

The Effect of Farmer’s Childhood

The childhood of any human takes a large toll on their life. Farmers are not an exception to this fact. Childhood affects our personality, our behaviour and basic opinion and views on subjects. Growing up as a farmer, you learn to do various tasks, including hard ones. You learn to work with tough demanding situations like deficiency of things without complaint or hardship. The farmer’s father is usually hardworking, diligent, and patient, these are some the traits demanded to excel in the farming business. Fathers usually have a powerful impact on their children because they see their fathers as role models that will be translated into their lives.

Paul at Duke University

Paul was very friendly and had many friends at the university. He liked being in the company of others at any instance whether during lunch, studying, walking, or singing. Moreover, Paul was industrious and studious and got A’s after his first semester (Kidder, 51). During the first two years of studying, Paul took science classes, medical anthropology, and public health. Paul learnt that medical education is not for making the students earn a living but to ensure community health and that physicians are the poor people’s attorney who should solve their social problems (Kidder, 62). Classes that inspired Paul were anthropology, history, sociology, and political science.

Sister Julianna

Sister Julianna DeWolf was a nun from Belgium who worked with the United Farm Workers. She was fearless, radical and committed more than any other person. She was both arrogant and humble at the same time. All these character traits she possessed were to help the Haitian farmworkers in the difficulties they faced. Paul Farmer met sister Julianna at Duke Chapel during the protest of the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero. When Farmer was in the company of Sister Julianna during a tour of the North Carolina Tobacco plantation, he was able to see several Haitians and the poor conditions they lived in. The situation was far worse than what Farmer experienced while growing up, and this made him find out more about Haiti and the Haitians Laboring near Duke (Kidder, 68). Sister Juliana was helping the oppressed Haitians in various ways and this inspired Farmer to develop an interest in Haiti after seeing their livelihood.

Ophelia and Farmer

Ophelia decided not to marry Farmer despite admiring him because she realized it could not be possible to live and work in Haiti with Farmer. Ophelia had come to Haiti to please her father by doing good works while Farmer was in Haiti because he always wanted to help the people of Haiti (Kidder, 84). Farmer wanted to stay in Haiti, but Ophelia did not. This made Ophelia love Farmer and, simultaneously, provoked her to resent him like the commitment to the poor, limitless schedule and passion for others. If Ophelia were to be Farmer’s wife, her emotional needs would inhibit Framer’s work and vision towards the poor.

Liberation Theology

According to Farmer, liberation theology is a “powerful rebuke to the hiding away of poverty”. He meant that most of the peasants he met felt that other people hated them because of their state, but God loves them even more (Kidder,135). Religion and God gave the people the will to live on despite being alienated because of their poverty. Christianity and some missionaries invited and accepted the poor Haitians giving them hope for the afterlife and an omniscient being protected despite the situation. In the book, the liberation theology discards the disregard and the seclusion of the poor, thus giving the people a sense of belonging.

Work Cited

Kidder, Tracy. “Mountains Beyond Mountains”. Random House Incorporated, 2009. Print

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