Call The Midwife, By Jennifer Worth Essay examples

1338 Words Aug 11th, 2016 6 Pages
In her memoir, Call the Midwife, Jennifer Worth recounts the stories of unusual characters she encounters as a midwife in post-war London’s East End slums. The slums of the East End served as a popular tourist destination for the middle class. Some middle-class philanthropists visited the slums to comprehend the tragic situation of the working-class, whereas other, less-benevolent middle class citizens toured to satisfy their curiosity and to gawk at the poverty-stricken inhabitants (Koven). To an extent, Worth herself is a slummer— she is a middle-class women experiencing first hand the disgusting conditions and filthy bodies of the working-class women in the East End. Although Worth interacts with all types of working-class women, she only portrays the bodies of the working-class women who do not fulfill their role as mothers as horrific and revolting because she adheres to the middle class values herself.
Worth specifically focuses on the horror of women who have drifted from the middle class standards and transformed their bodies into impure vessels. Worth describes a pelvic exam on a woman named Lil: “I asked Lil to draw her knees upwards and part her legs. As she did so, the odour of stale urine, vaginal discharge, and sweat wafted up to greet me. I struggled to control the nausea … I started to part the vulva with two fingers, and it was then that my finger encountered a hard, small lump…” (68). Worth and her coworkers quickly diagnose the small lump as an early…

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