Amputation is the removal of part of the body, which is enclosed by skin, for example, when part of a finger or may be entire finger. Amputation normally takes place in hospital operation rooms or during surgery. It is mainly done to avoid spread gangrene, diabetes or any other illness that may spread easily through blood circulation. It is also done to prevent diseases such as cancer of bones and to individuals with severe irreparable damage of a limb. In this case, Paul is the main character in this book and it happens that he had a road accident which caused him to undergo amputation since he suffered a serious injury. (Gries, 2002)
The accident was so serious that it was mandatory for him to amputate his leg, which caused severe effects leading to a lot of suffering. Throughout his time in hospital and at home, he faced a lot of suffering from post-operative indignities, depression, and pain. Paul was affected mainly by depression because he had neither his wife nor his children. He had divorced his wife many years ago. He was tetchy in everything that he said, but kept much on what he thought about. Paul suffered a lot psychologically. This was because of his desire to pay college fees for marijuana’s son. He had longed to have a son like Drago (Marijana’s son). He still wished to have an intimate relationship with Marijana but unfortunately, it was difficult.
Elizabeth Costello who depressed him because of not respecting his privacy later visited Paul. This made Paul to be in a different world such that it was difficult for him to chase away Elizabeth Costello who encamped in his house. He was unable to get rid of this woman and all his effort were feeble because every time he asked her why she camped at his place, she did not lack an appropriate answer for Paul. This depressed Paul a lot. Costello did not like all the closeness between Marijana and Paul. She tried to her best to separate them by discouraging Paul about the relationship with Marijana. Each time she told Paul that his relationship with Marijana and Drago was an impossible one and rests on a range of misconceptions on himself and them. He felt discouraged about his relationship with Marijana and Drago. He also felt as if he had not fully accomplished in life. He was particularly bothered by the fact that he had no family- he was childless. (Engstrom & Van de Ven, 1999)
Paul was lonely, and to make it worse, he was an old man. To some point, he lost hope of the future. It was due to the sad delusions that Marijana entered his life at his old age. He thought that he could still offer romance and joy to a younger woman like Marijana, and act as a godfather at his last stage. He believed he could cater for that ready-made family in his old age. All these made Paul to build castles in the air. It later made him to suffer from a mental illness and he was forced to see his therapist for medical attention. Paul suffered severely as a result of the amputation which led to mental disability due to pressure which occurred in his life. His ambitions were not accomplished due to mental depression and stress. (Carroll &. Edelstein, 2006)
Paul’s case is an illustration of the severe effects suffered by people who go through amputation. Therefore, it is a societal responsibility to ensure that individuals contribute positively towards the healing process. This will neutralize the adverse effects that the victims could be experiencing.