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A Triumph of Surgery
By– James Herriot
About the Author- James Herriot
Plot/ Theme / Central Idea of the Lesson/ Literary Analysis of A Triumph of Surgery/ Main Idea
The theme of the Story
The story ‘A Triumph of Surgery’ revolves around an ill dog named Tricki and his mistress, Mrs Pumphrey. The dog was hugely fat. His eyes were blood-red and rheumy. Mrs Pumphrey gave her malt, cod-liver oil and bowl of Horlicks. Still, Tricki had no energy. The doctor advised her to cut down on sweet things. Tricki left eating and kept vomiting. He was to be hospitalised. The doctor gave Tricki nothing to eat for the first two days except water. On the third day, there were signs of improvement. He started taking food properly. The doctor didn’t give him any medical treatment. Tricki used to run around and play with the other dogs cheerfully. Soon, he recovered completely. Mrs Pumphrey continued enquiring about Tricki on phone. When she came to collect the dog, tears were shining in her eyes. She called this magical recovery: ‘A Triumph of Surgery’.
Main Characters of the Story- A Triumph of Surgery
1.Mrs Pumphrey: Mrs Pumphrey is a fabulously rich and resourceful lady with a large number of servants and maids. She is passionately attached to her little pet dog, Tricki. She is much worried about Tricki’s miserable condition. Tricki had become hugely fat and listless. She thinks Tricki to be suffering from malnutrition. So, she starts giving Tricki malt, cod-liver oil and a bowl of Horlicks every night. The doctor knew that Tricki’s only fault was his greed for food. He advises Mrs Pumphrey to cut down food and sweets for Tricki. For Mrs Pumphrey, it was very difficult because she pampers Tricki like a spoiled child.
Mrs Pumphrey is impractical but very compassionate and caring. She and her staff arrange all comforts, beds, cushions and toys for Tricki. She constantly enquires about his health from Dr Herriot. She gratefully thanks Dr Herriot for saving Tricki’s life and calls it “A triumph of Surgery.”
2. Tricki: Tricki is a small dog. The only fault of Tricki is his greed for food. Overfeeding of sweets, cakes and chocolates make Tricki hugely fat. He becomes rheumy and listless. His tongue lolls from his jaws. The doctor advises Mrs Pumphrey to keep Tricki on a very strict diet and give him plenty of exercises. Tricki becomes a victim of overindulgence and overfeeding. Dr Herriot’s instructions are ignored. Tricki loses appetite and starts vomiting. Dr Herriot suggests Mrs Pumphrey that Tricki be hospitalised under his observation for a fortnight. Tricki’s recovery is amazingly rapid. He is not given food but plenty of water. After a few days, Tricki starts taking an interest in his surroundings. He is transformed into a flexible and hard-muscled dog. Tricki shows his love for his mistress by jumping onto her lap when she comes to collect him.
3. Dr James Herriot: Dr James Herriot, no doubt, is a competent veterinary surgeon. He is really worried about Tricki. He understands that the real fault of the dog is his greed for food. Dr Herriot instructs Mrs Pumphrey to keep Tricki on a very strict diet.
Dr James Herriot is practical and pragmatic. He doesn’t give any medical treatment to the dog. He feeds the dog with only water. His method works. The grateful mistress thanks Dr Herriot Sil and calls his feat “A triumph of Surgery!” Dr James is clever enough to enjoy the best of both the worlds. He is tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest. It was a happy period for Dr Herriot and his friends. He used to enjoy eggs for breakfast and wine and brandy for lunch.
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