The House of God - Chapter 20 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 324 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)

Chapter 20 Summary

Roy is still at the MICU and up to four miles per day jogging. He jogs to work every day. He still faces the horror of human misery and helplessness but feels competent that he's running the machines to the best of his ability. He's still titillated by the nurses changing in the hallway every day. He sees patients that seem like they're going to make it and then have a cardiac arrest and die.

He faces a series of patients who die in a row, and this really upsets Jo. Even his patient who is the matriarch of the Zock family falls out of bed and dies. As this happens over Passover, Roy suggests that it's happening because they aren't following the laws of Passover. Roy gets a rabbi to bless the place and to paint all the doors according to Passover custom. It seems to work for a while and then a patient, a doctor, dies of a cardiac arrest. Jo cracks under the pressure but Roy is fine, because he's jogging and taking care of himself. Roy loves working on the Unit and tells Berry that. Berry is worried about Roy, because he's so nonplussed by all the deaths.

Chapter 20 Analysis

Roy has done a 180 degree turn and is coping very well on the Unit. He is taking care of himself and jogging more. Now it is Jo that is cracking because of all the deaths on the unit, and she can't handle it. Death continues to be a major theme in this chapter and how people handle it. It's interesting that Roy brings in a Rabbi to pray and paint the doors of the Unit even though he's not that religious. Perhaps it's a joke but the reader is not given that information. Berry continues to stay with Roy even though Roy believes the relationship is on the rocks and continues to worry about Roy.

This section contains 324 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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