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Posted on August 30th, 2012, by

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World is one of the favorite works of many famous people. If I’ll be asked to describe this work in several worlds I would say that it is a non-fiction and biographical work of literature by eminent American writer Tracy Kidder. This story traces the life of Paul Farmer, the life of physician and anthropologist. Moreover, I want to add that Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World was a New York Times Notable Book for 2003 and as you understand it has a high position among the works of literature nowadays. I’d like to pay more attention on this book and analyze its main aspects and main character activity. The objective of this paper is to explain and justify the title of Mountains Beyond Mountains.

This paragraph I will dedicate to Paul Farmer because due to his actions and lifestyle this book is a brilliant work of literature and attracts many readers. I don’t want to detract from Kidders merits but I think that exactly in this tight cooperation could appear this great book.Ā  I like the main character and I think that it was a right decision to write about selfless man making a gigantic difference in a destitute corner of the world, Haiti. Describing this person and applying to literature reviews we see that “at the center of Mountains Beyond Mountains stands Paul Farmer. Doctor, Harvard professor, renowned infectious-disease specialist, anthropologist, the recipient of a MacArthur “genius”¯ grant, world-class Robin Hood, Farmer was brought up in a bus and on a boat, and in medical school found his life’s calling: to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. This magnificent book shows how radical change can be fostered in situations that seem insurmountable, and it also shows how a meaningful life can be created, as Farmer””brilliant, charismatic, charming, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti””blasts through convention to get results.”¯ (

Now after main character activity discussing I think that it is time to talk about the title and previously mentioned information will help us to justify this title of the book. As for me it is an appropriate title and it has a deep sense for all people. I can mention that it is also direct on not only in our minds but in our hearts too. The main actions took place in Haiti and that’s why the title has Haitian roots. If to be honest, the title Mountains Beyond Mountains comes from a Haitian proverb and it indicates on the influence of Haitian culture on the author.

Let’s analyze this phrase and turn off our logical thinking. Mountains Beyond Mountains has figurative sense and is a wonderful metaphor for life’s challenges. Mountains in figurative sense are associated with new horizons and tops that should be the part of ordinary life for every person. You know that at once you have scaled one mountain and then when you reach a place where you going for a long time you understand that there are a lot of other mountains around you and you can’t stop and should go there. You can see that there are always more mountains farther away: you will never stop climbing, never be finished. You can ask me the question: Why is it appropriate title for the book? I can simply answer you that it is the way of Paul Farmer’s living, because he is always climbing from one mountain to other mountain and never stop his way. I can emphasize that in the case of Paul Farmer, whose visionary spirit (as you remember) is the subject of this book, his primary mountain is the struggle to help people, to do it in all corners of our world and to provide medical help to all desperately poor people. This spirit of charity greatly influenced on Tracy Kidder and he even wrote in his book: “I felt as though, in Farmer, I’d been offered another way of thinking about a place like Haiti. But his way would be hard to share, because it implied such an extreme definition of a term like “doing one’s best.”¯

The world is full of miserable places. One way of living comfortably is not to think about them or, when you do, to send money. Over the next five years, I mailed some small sums to the charity that supported Farmer’s hospital in Haiti. He sent back handwritten thank-you notes on each occasion. Once, from a friend of a friend, I heard he was doing something notable in international health, something to do with tuberculosis. I didn’t look into the details, though, and I didn’t see him again until near the end of 1999. I was the one who made the appointment. He named the place.”¯ (Kidder, 2008)

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned we can conclude that the title Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World has a great significance because it reflects the surrounding reality in metaphorical sense and show us the extraordinary authors point of view. This title motivates us to think once more about the primary “mountains”¯ in our life and shows that every person can reach his own mountain and should never stop in this struggle for the main life’s values. I think that helping the suffering poor is possible and it can be notable aim and notable “mountain”¯.

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