Air We Breathe Chapter Summary

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Fresh air was once thought to be an actual medical cure for tuberculosis patients in sanitariums. The Air We Breathe by Andrea Barrett is an accurate representation of tuberculosis patients' lives in sanitariums during the World War I. Although the book is fictional, all the facts about tuberculosis sanitariums are accurate. The book revolves around several main characters who are in a tuberculosis sanitarium during World War I. The story is told by a nameless narrator who is a patient in the sanitarium. The story focuses on two patients, Leo and Miles, and three staff, Naomi, Eudora and Irene. All the characters tell of their experiences at the sanitarium where they are either receiving or giving treatment. Patients during that time were sent to sanitariums where they received treatment for the tuberculosis in a number of ways. The book has many true facts about sanitariums. Tuberculosis…show more content…
"Food is life. Eat three times as much as you think you need: once for the fever, once for the germs, and the final time for yourself" (Barrett 38). This thought was strictly enforced by all sanitariums during that time. Doctors were sure that improved nutrition would benefit the patients, which led to the nutritional diets for the patients. Leo was quickly astonished by how much was required of the patients to eat upon his arrival. The doctors thought that the improved nutrition would help kill the bacteria. It was not often known at that time to the doctors that the improved nutrition of the patients helped them fight the tuberculosis (Ryan 28). The doctors in the book knew that the patients would have better odds if their bodies were more prepared to fight the tuberculosis. Naomi and Eudora were tasked with enforcing the patients' eating habits. The regulated diets were only a small part of everyday life at the
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