When Breath Becomes Air - Part 1, Section 3 Summary & Analysis

Paul Kalanithi
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Summary

“In Perfect Health I Begin”, pages 68 – 115. Kalanithi describes the reasoning behind his eventual choice to specialize in neurosurgery, referring to his continuing desire to draw and/or find the connections between the mind and the brain, between life and death. He describes becoming aware of the arbitrariness, the randomness of illness and survival, describing the surprising triumph of a young boy requiring major brain surgery to the equally surprising death of a very healthy elderly woman, and several other sorts of deaths. He describes how, shortly after he and Lucy married, they each began residencies, and the long hours and days their jobs required. He describes successes and mistakes, surprises, and the growth of a sense of both realistic urgency and casual juxtapositions of the everyday and the life changing. As he refers to the work of several writers (including novelist Leo Tolstoy...

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This section contains 1,208 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the When Breath Becomes Air Study Guide
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