English & Literature

Who is Doctor from Ourika: An English Translation and what is their importance?

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The doctor in the Introduction visits Ourika at the convent in Faubourg Saint Jacques shortly after finishing medical school and beginning to practice in Paris. She is concerned for the nun, and her sympathy increases as she imagines the injustices the nun must have suffered. The doctor is shocked to discover that the nun is a black woman suffering from a prolonged melancholia. She insists that the nun must cure her past sadness in order to save her health and her life. Though she promises a quick recovery when she first meets the nun, a dark presentiment warns the doctor that it may already be too late. The doctor visits more frequently until the nun is comfortable enough to confide in her about her past. The doctor sympathetically listens to Ourika's story, and though she continues to tend her, the doctor's attempts prove unavailing as she fails to save Ourika.