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Kaustubh Desai Kkd15 USSY 289 Vera Tobin

Writing assignment for Monday, Mar. 25


1. Select a small moment or two from a television episode we watched that strikes you as illustrating an interesting point of contrast or similarity with the detective stories we've read so far. Identify and describe it/them. The side plot of Funsten and House, where he drives 70 miles to get treated and House deduces right away whats going on with him. House: Now, why would you drive 70 miles to get treatment for a condition that a 9 year old could diagnose? Its the free flowing puss thats the tip off. Funsten: I was in town. House: Not for family, not for work. You drove 70 miles to a walk-in-clinic. You passed two hospitals on the road. Now, either you have a problem with those hospitals, or they have a problem with you. My guess is that youve sued half the doctors in Maplewood, and the rest are now refusing to treat you. Its ironic, isnt it? Its like the boy who sued wolf. You know what? I bet we have a doctor here named Wolfe. How perfect would that be? Im gonna page him. Funsten: Ok, you know what? Thank you, Im gonna find a doctor to take care of this. 2. Write about why you picked it/them (about 200-500 words). The behavior House exhibits in the conversation picked above from Paternity immediately reminded me of Sherlock Holmes. And that moment led to a bunch of very interesting comparisons between the two intelligent men and their respective stories. In the interaction between Mr. Funsten and House, House rapidly asks Funsten a series of questions to find out why exactly he drove 70 miles for a very simple condition and then very correctly predicts Funstens intentions and past behavior. Holmes performs these rapid-fire deductions very often in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and they are one of the main reasons the books became so popular. Both lead characters show intense powers of observation and insight - which gives them an edge over other normal people. They also are heavily consulted on unusual cases because of these characteristics in their respective fields. House and Holmes are also very similar names! In addition, they both show an addiction to drugs. Holmes with his cocaine addiction and House with his Vicodin addiction. They however use them for different purposes House for pain management while Holmes to keep his mind occupied when he is bored. Still, these drugs are, in a way, vital to both characters proper functioning.

The final comparison is not about the characters themselves but their sidekicks per se. Wilson is essentially Dr. Watson to House. The very similar names are a huge sign, but their behaviors are also similar. They provide the much needed human balance to Holmes and House. Also, they really are the only close friend of both geniuses who they really value/respect. The show derives heavily from Sir Arthur Conan Doyles writings, and there probably are way more comparisons between the two characters. 3. Finally, provide a discussion question about the Gawande reading. It can connect the reading to something from the TV, or not, as you like, but should show you did the reading! Would you feel more comfortable greeted on a hospital bed by a computer which relies on a blind formula based diagnosis (shown to be statistically more accurate) or would you rather have a human doctor who is compassionate and understanding of your fears, who relies on years of experience and intuition, especially in the case where their diagnosis do not agree?