Bliss Vs Garfield Chapter Summaries

854 Words4 Pages
Bliss isolated Garfield in a room in the White House. Bliss and his team frequently probed the bullet wound in search of the ball of lead with unsterilized fingers and instruments. The only chance for Garfield’s survival was for the bullet to be found. Inventor, Alexander Graham Bell believed he had the solution: an induction balance. He would use this to detect where the bullet was located in Garfield’s body so that the doctors could extract it. Unfortunately, when Bliss allowed Bell to search for the bullet, Bliss only let Bell check where he believed the bullet to be. When Bell tried it, it detected no metal in that area so Bliss deemed the invention a failure. Not only did Bliss reject Bell’s invention, but he also rejected the new ideas…show more content…
Some of the main themes are the Bliss versus Bell, Bliss versus Lister, Bliss versus the other doctors, and Conkling versus Garfield. Dr. Bliss and Roscoe Conkling both have very bad intentions while Bell, Dr. Lister, and the other doctors have good intentions. Dr. Bliss is only trying to save Garfield for the reward, and Conkling is happy that the President was shot as he believes it is his ticket back into power. Bell tries to save Garfield’s with his new invention but is thwarted by Bliss. Lister tries to save many patients with antisepsis, but Bliss doesn’t use it which could be the biggest reason Garfield died. Finally, the other doctors are all there to treat Garfield to save him but are shooed away or not given much of a role in his treatment by Bliss. It was the bad intentions of Dr. Doctor Willard Bliss that killed Garfield in the end, but it brought about some much needed change in the country: the President would always be protected while out in public, antisepsis was widely adopted after Garfield’s autopsy revealed Bliss’s numerous mistakes, and President Arthur worked to end the spoils system. Garfield’s death was one that could have been prevented if a man with the right intentions had been in charge of his medical care. A man without extreme ambition, greed, or dishonesty, a man much like Garfield himself, could have saved the
Open Document