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The War Nurse


A sweeping novel by an international bestselling author based on a true World ...
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How does Julia's description of herself in the opening lines foreshadow the issues that arise throughout the book as Julia deals with being a woman in the male-dominated world of health care during WWI?

Created: 07/08/21

Replies: 11

Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2951

How does Julia's description of herself in the opening lines foreshadow the issues that arise throughout the book as Julia deals with being a woman in the male-dominated world of health care during WWI?

In the opening lines, Julia Stimson describes herself: “Perhaps God made a mistake, and meant for me to be born a man. Certainly, he gave me a man’s height, a jaw like an anvil, and shoulders fit to carry the world’s burdens. But I am, through and through, a woman, with all the sensibilities and, I daresay, strengths that includes.” How does this foreshadow the issues that arise throughout the book as Julia deals with being a woman in the male-dominated world of health care during WWI?


Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyj

Join Date: 06/26/18

Posts: 25

RE: How does Julia's description of...

The opening lines foreshadow Julia's need to stand up for herself and her nurses. Some physicians tend to think they are at the top of the pyramid in healthcare when in truth they should share that top tier with the nurses who work alongside them in caring for patients.


Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vivianh

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 115

RE: How does Julia's description of...

I began my career in a male dominated industry and society in 1980. Truly, the dynamics hadn’t changed much since 1917. Julia dealt with similar issues that women dealt with for centuries. The foreshadowing was just typical of the world I’ve experienced. It may have been more impactful for younger women.


Posted Jul. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deborahc

Join Date: 07/29/20

Posts: 4

RE: How does Julia's description of...

Gender-based roles play a major part in Julia's story. Female = compassion, kindness, softness = nurse. Male = skilled, smart, strong = physician. Julia has all of these attributes, but in a female body, and is made to take a subservient role.


Posted Jul. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
catherynez

Join Date: 01/27/18

Posts: 82

RE: How does Julia's description of...

Yes, the opening statement did foreshadow Julia’s future as a leader in nursing during the war. She was able to play an important role as a nurse leader in the war. She probably did feel disadvantaged as a woman in medicine but she did see how she was able to use her talents throughout the book.


Posted Jul. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 99

RE: How does Julia's description of...

The opening lines do foreshadow both her strengths and sensibilities as a woman who could lead and succeed in her profession and in the different work environments even with very difficult superiors. As Julia says, at times she used her impressive stature when it suited her goals.


Posted Jul. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyr

Join Date: 05/25/21

Posts: 21

RE: How does Julia's description of...

The opening of the book immediately makes it clear that Julia is a professional to be taken seriously and not condescended to. She also is an incredibly hard worker and finds no task below her stature to jump into. She lead her nurses by example and they respected her for it.


Posted Jul. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 148

RE: How does Julia's description of...

I agree with all of the above, and I immediately felt a kinship with Julia, as, I suspect, do many of readers. I can't imagine there is a woman alive who hasn't/doesn't feel as Julia did - that as a woman she is out of place.


Posted Jul. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 176

RE: How does Julia's description of...

Nurses have long had to fight to be recognized in their own right as health professionals. In the beginning of the story, readers see Julia's problems as ones that have long befallen women in a number of professions. We clearly see that Julia is not only competent, but well-trained and intuitive in her understanding of situations.


Posted Jul. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 174

RE: How does Julia's description of...

I think the opening lines set up Julia's internal struggle to reconcile her desires to be a physician with her role in society as a woman (and her place within her own family). The fact that she was as tall and strong as a man did not help her fit into the feminine role everyone wanted her to accept as hers. She was strong in mind and body at a time when women were expected to be subservient. It was an expectation that did not suit her.


Posted Jul. 20, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 186

RE: How does Julia's description of...

I agree with Cindyj


Posted Jul. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 324

RE: How does Julia's description of...

Julia is a threat to the males in the medical arena. She is smart, self confident, and unshakable, in addition to being tall and actually looming over some of her male associates. Most are intimidated by her.


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