Survival In Scott Anderson's Triage

1296 Words6 Pages
Survivors are cursed to wander through life alone, always feeling the emptiness left by those who have been left behind. Such people are portrayed vividly in Scott Anderson’s “Triage.” Survival is depicted as a very complex affair; the mind of the survivor is all-too vulnerable to guilt and stress, complications that can lead to a certain envy of the dead. Anderson confronts us with three very different survivors to illustrate this point: timid, quiet Mark, orthodox, domestic Elena and loud, vibrant Joaquin. These three survivors have very different approaches to deal with their burdens and the burdens of others. These attitudes dictate how they are able to live their lives. The idea of ‘envying the dead’ is depicted by Anderson as something…show more content…
Mark is experiencing a stress disorder stemming from an incident in Kurdistan that claimed the life of his friend Colin. This war-related stress causes him to withdraw from emotional interaction with the world around him, turning him into a quiet and subdued shell of his former self. This is demonstrated at a photographers’ gathering, where Mark is described as “having no emotions of his own.” Mark’s survival is further complicated and threatened by the cumulative effect of wartime events experienced over a number of years. Mark has forced himself to carry these different incidents, keeping the burden from those around him. When these memories are brought back to him by the incident in Kurdistan, Mark is shown to experience increasingly common periods of helplessness and…show more content…
Joaquin describes Mark as being “unable to find his way back” to the land of the living. Colin seems to be an especially important part of this process; whenever his name is mentioned, Mark “shrinks, becoming literally a more compact person.” When Mark allows himself to be forgiven for Colin’s death and allowing his friend to leave his mind, Mark subsequently finds his way back to the living world and those he loves: “[As Colin left him], Mark felt something else leaving him, the tether on his throat, the night water on his temples.” Mark illustrates Anderson’s ‘survivor’ in different ways. As a man plagued by the death of a friend, his survival is complicated by a very strong sense of guilt and cumulative stress. It is only after he faces these events that he is

More about Survival In Scott Anderson's Triage

Open Document