The House of God - Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

Samuel Shem
This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The House of God.
This section contains 412 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Chapter 17 Summary

All the interns are breaking. Eat My Dust Eddie's wife has a baby and would only talk about gomers in terms of how he can hurt them on any given day. Eddy finally mentally goes psychotic and is sent to "have a rest" making it harder for the other interns around him.

Roy breaks up with Molly, who is seeing someone else. Roy admits to becoming too cynical. Hooper gets real thin, running around and not eating, trying to get the Black Crow Award. Things are getting rough for the remaining two interns on the ward and they are getting in trouble for the things they've been doing. The Fats tells them not to do anything else or it will reflect badly on him.

Potts meets up with Roy at two a.m. and tells him that the Yellow Man has finally died. Potts seems depressed about that and before Roy figures out Pott's intentions. Shortly afterward, Potts jumps from the eighth floor window of the hospital to his death. Everyone mourns his loss. No one wants to park in the area of the parking lot where Potts fell. Roy and the other interns are angry at the higher ups for teasing Potts so much. The Fat Man cries over his death.

Saul, the leukemic, is suffering but is dying. Roy can't stand it anymore. He gets a vial of KCl and injects it into Saul, killing him.

He works on St. Patrick's Day and sees what he believed are the worst patients in the world. He talks to Gilheeny and Quick, who are hanging out in the EW. Roy realizes that the gomers have won and would outlast him and would survive in Gomer City after he's long gone.

Chapter 17 Analysis

There is a great deal of death in this chapter. Two interns crack and one of them commits suicide. Roy himself is broken but he continues on, realizing that the gomers have won. Each in his own way, the interns are coping or falling apart. Potts suicide affects them all, and it causes the interns to blame the higher ups. Roy copes through anger and cynicism. He realizes he can't "be with" his patients and still survive. Roy crosses over a line when he finally gives in and kills Saul, wanting him to avoid a painful death. All of this is a new low for Roy and the others who have reached their breaking point.

This section contains 412 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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