When answering the question whose image in the world literature, movies or TV is the most popular there are no many people whom the image of the nurse would occur to. The image of the nurse is, generally, referred to so-called secondary characters. Their activities aren’t so well-seen as, for example, policeman or physician’s ones. A nurse accomplishes with another kind of work in the course of which she is suggested to help someone, to be a support for patients, a right hand for physicians. That is a kind of profession not very popular one but everyone can have needs of. A wide range of books, movies, TV programs have created various interpretations of the nurse’s images. It would be interesting to distinguish the most general and common traits of their character.
In order to learn the relationships between nurses and other characters, for example, physicians whether who of them takes control of the whole situation that’s enough to look through a movie or read over any scene which nurse takes place in. Nurse is almost always silent. Her or his activities are rather reduced and consist in a noiseless accomplishment of his/her duties.
A physician who is suggested to be more educated and responsible always directs the situation and a nurse is practically always a subordinate person. But speaking about understanding of the patient’s needs the situation can be different. The physician gets opinion as to the patient’s needs according to his knowledge and professional experiences. A nurse understands patient’s requirements basing on her/his first-hand and continuous communication with this patient. Here takes place mutual immediate understanding between nurse and patient which is not less important for the latest than the physician’s interference.
From being a woman a lot of accompanying factors appear here, e.g. age, sexual attractiveness and so on. It’s very hard to determine the average nurse’s age. They appear as young, mature and old as well. To make some difference, a nurse is represented often as a middle-aged woman whose marital status isn’t an important point. Though nurses are often lonely this detail isn’t usually very well highlighted in order to make the image free for other author’s objects.
As to the characteristics of a nurse as a woman it must be said that the usage of the nurse’s image in the world wide sex industry is a very efficient one. Attractive girls in white smocks are very popular among men and there is nothing denying it. The appealing to the physical characteristics is only expressed here. But speaking about common nurse’s character out of sexual motives she is, generally, an attractive girl or woman as she has to cause positive traits in patient’s mind.
As it was already mentioned the image of the nurse is first of all a secondary one. Referring this personage, from the numerous movies with nurse’s participation, the spectator, basically, remembers only white smock and tray with medicines. Of course, there are exclusions when the image of the nurse expands and the author makes a nurse its protagonist providing her with all the armory of positive or negative traits. But to say truth, nurses are depicted as negative characters only in cheap thrillers.
The classical nurse personages are beneficent and warm-hearted. The profession of nears means love and understanding. Their personal traits are more than normal and socially-accepted. The colorful example of “The English Patient” by Anthony Minghella proves that. A French-Canadian nurse, Hana, has gathered in herself all those features so characteristic for the image of the nurse. Michael Ondaatje (1996): “She reads to her patient, but is not sure whether or not he listens.
The nurse spends much of her time gardening, growing enough vegetables for them to eat, to trade a little, and to survive. They inhabit a bombed-out villa. In many parts, rain falls freely into the house. The German army had occupied the house and has left mines throughout. The nurse knows these dangers but does not pay much attention to them. She is only twenty years old and enjoys sleeping in the library, with its view of the night sky.”(n.p.).That’s one of the classical images of the nurse in the world art.
The values nurse’s image usually provides are and must be classified as human and sympathizer and condolatory. Of course, we aren’t to forget about the classical situation from the movies and detective stories when using a nurse to kill someone being in a hospital as a result of criminal affairs. Lately, a great deal of thrillers and other similar products can boast with the creation of the new image of a nurse-killer. But that’s not enough to state this image as one of the significant.
Concerning the career ambitions the profession of a nurse isn’t a convenient one to be discussed here. Actually, the career of a nurse doesn’t provide a colorful perspective. Due to this a nurse is suggested to be an altruist person. For the majority of nurses portrayed anywhere the career isn’t a focus of effort. They are rather devoting themselves to a good professional accomplishment of their obligations. And that’s one of the main particularities that differs nurses form the rest of personages. She is a typical background personage and ambitions about career aren’t characteristic for her.
The above mentioned characteristics are proper of the majority of the described nurse’s images. Of course, human fantasy have created a lot of different versions of this character all over its history but those above are the most common traits as to the nurse. Taking into consideration all mentioned above, it’s necessary to make a conclusion that the nurse’s image in the modern art is, primarily, a secondary one with rather vivaciously expressed positive traits. This image has changed a little all over the times due to its constant and well-aimed character. The image of a kind, easygoing woman in white smock promises to keep on appearing in masterpieces of the future art.
1. Ondaatje, M. (1996).The English Patient. SparkNotes, Today’s most popular study guides from Barnes&Noble , chapter 1. Retrieved September 25, 2005, from http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/englishpatient/section1.html