Analysis Of ' The Razor 's Edge ' Essays

Analysis Of ' The Razor 's Edge ' Essays

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In W. Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, we read about a character named Larry Darrell, who acts and responds differently after World War I. Isabel Bradley, who is engaged to Larry, discovers that Larry has indeed changed since the war. She says that, “He gives me such an odd impression sometimes; he gives me the impression of a sleep-walker who’s suddenly wakened in a strange place and can’t think where he is. He was so normal before the war. One of the nice things about him was his enormous zest for life. He was so scatter-brained and gay, it was wonderful to be with him; he was so sweet and ridiculous. What can have happened to change him so much?” (49). From this statement we come to understand that Larry’s attitudes and behaviors have not only changed, but also his demeanor towards life. In this paper I will review and cover battle fatigue or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to which Larry is suffering.
In order to understand the effects and symptoms of PTSD, we must understand what the disorder is. According to, “Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an emotional illness that is classified as an anxiety disorder and usually develops as a result of a terribly frightening, life-threatening, or otherwise highly unsafe experience. PTSD sufferers re-experience the traumatic event or events in some way, tend to avoid places, people, or other things that remind them of the event (avoidance), and are exquisitely sensitive to normal life experiences (hyperarousal)” (Edwards). Larry’s traumatic experience happened when his best friend Patsy saved him when a plane was about to shoot him down. In an effect to save Larry, Patsy’s plane winged the enemy’s and soon after Larry watched his friend die. Larry says tha...

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.... He did just what you saw me do with Gray and that night I slept as I hadn’t slept for months” (246). This teaching not only helped him, but also Gray, who suffered from agonizing headaches. Larry says that, “There’s nothing to it really; it only means putting the idea into the sufferer’s mind” (246). The ideas he learned from the Yogi helped him from the suffering he incurred from PTSD.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that Larry suffers from PTSD. Unfortunately for him, the advanced medication and therapy that we have today was not available to him back then. Instead, he copes with the symptoms of PTSD by going to other countries and finds his identity in their knowledge and wisdom. PTSD not only made life for him hard, but also influenced him in many ways. Hopefully researchers and doctors can continue to help find more effective treatments to help treat PTSD.

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