Historical/Cultural Analysis “Operation of a Medic. ” The text, “Watching a Medic, Sicily, August 9, 1943”, illustrates the occupation of a medic in action during WWII. This text shows a medic helping another soldier in Sicily. In the background of the image there is a poor and deprived family looking upon the medic performing his duty of helping the injured soldier. This image shows what a medic’s lifestyle was like during the war. Medics had to perform their medical duties in places where injuries occurred, making it especially tough in the areas of where war was occurring.
The image shows the historical context of the invasion of Sicily that took place during the same time as the picture. The image also shows the cultural context in relation with the lives of the natives living in Sicily. The occupation of medics and their lifestyle, the topic of war and military invasion, and the inhabitants of the homeland of Sicily, can all be accurately embedded within the tangible meaning of what it was like during the time of this visual text. In the image there is a medic performing a procedure on another soldier that is lying injured on the ground.
The injured soldier is lying with his uniform open and his eyes closed. His helmet is lying on the ground beside a poor family that watching the operation happening. The family is in the background and is looking upon with a worried and sad look on their faces. These people are watching the scene of a medic in action from their own doorsteps, which brings attention to the fact that these onlookers are natives of the land where the picture occurred. This distinguishes the awareness of the cultural context that is being revealed in the image by the displaying of what the life was like for a family living in Sicily.
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The occupation of a medic is one that is very tough and challenging. To become a medic one must first have received medical basic training. They must be able to implement the knowledge and tactics learn in that medical training out on the battlefield. A medic must also be able to think and operate in hostile environments. One medic that served in Sicily during the time of the picture was Jerome McMenamy. McMenamy gives his reflections of working as a medic during the war in an interview. He was asked the uestion: what did you use to alleviate your patients’ pain? McMenamy response was, “One of the things for a medic in combat is morphine in little tubes. You had a quarter-grain of morphine in there, and you just jabbed it into a guy’s arm and squeezed that tube dry. In a few minutes he was feeling better”(Reynolds, Frank A. ). The treatment of pain, wounds, and minor injures are all examples of duties that medics have to perform during the time of the war. In the image it demonstrates the medic completing these duties.
A medic’s occupation during the time of World War II was challenging and also life-threating. Personal accounts of the times of being a medic place a first hand understanding of the true lifestyles that medics had during World War II. McMenamy tells of the hardships he had to go through while being a medic in the war, “My ankle snapped over a rock and got badly sprained. They put me on kitchen police, and the ankle wasn’t getting any better, but I got though the four months of basic training. They just taped it up, and I was marching with a sprained ankle”(Reynolds, Frank A. . This tells of not only the challenging medical practices that medics had to deal with helping injured soldiers, but also the rough encounters that medics had to overcome. In the image the medic is dressed and suited up as a soldier ready for combat. This suggests that all medics must be prepared in the times of attack, and by doing so they must have completed the four months of basic training that McMenamy discussed. Medics have to participate in the same tough and struggling operations that other soldiers in the war had to try and complete.
The accomplishing of these tough tasks and all the requirements of being a medic has given medics the strength and bravery to go into unfamiliar lands such as Sicily in the image, and perform the medical actions that need to be completed. This enduring and lasting obligation is represented in the visual text by the medic helping a fallen soldier in an area that the medic is not familiar with. The medic being in this unaccustomed area of Sicily brings about the cultural context, and how he is able to perform his duties of a medic while having natives of the region stand close by and watch.
Medics had many unpleasant and life threatening experiences in World War II. This brings to attention the experiences of medics in trying to complete their duties in a warzone. Medics have to worry about losing their own life everyday in war while trying to save the lives of others. They have to try to help the injured when not knowing what could happen. This could be from an opposing soldier coming up and attacking the medic while the medic is performing an operation on an injured soldier. The medic having no knowledge of the people or things around him is a cultural connection, such as that represented in the image.
One invasion that occurred was the Allied invasion of Sicily. The image takes place in Sicily, which gives an historical connection to the battle that occurred in the same place as the picture. The historical connection of the image is the battle that was fought in Sicily during the time of WWII, “Axis forces struck first at Sicily in July in a amphibious landing that was surpassed in size only by the invasion at Normandy, France, year later. After driving German forces off of Sicily, Allied troops, in September, began a long, costly march up the mountainous Italian peninsula” (Moffett, George).
The Allied invasion of Sicily was a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis. The Allies taking control over Sicily puts a means of emphasis on the historical context in the image due to the fact that the medic in the image is a member of the Allied Forces. The invasion that occurred in Sicily was done by the Allied forces, meaning that the carried out actions by the Allied forces were done on its opponents’ homeland. This shows the cultural connection in the image, due to the fact of the family in the background looking upon the unfamiliar soldier.
This medic had to perform his duty being military medical personnel in a place that was uncommon to him. He was doing his work in front of a poor family that were living in the area where the picture was taken. The poor family was looking upon the medic that was preforming his medical practices in their territory of where they live. This shows the cultural connection to the image because of how the medic had to adapt to the area to complete his duty of being a medic in the unfamiliar land of Sicily. This image of a medic performing a medical practice on an injured soldier shows the job of a medic in action.
It does not show the threats that could occur to the medic while he is completing his job. Military medical personnel face the daily threat of gunfire, explosives, chemical weapons, and other battlefield hazards. While medics try to carry out their job of being a medic many get injured due to the fact of all these hazards happening around them. This image shows a glimpse of what a medic’s life was like during the war. The life of a medic during World War II was not that of picture perfect lifestyle, it was more life treating and having to deal with the thought of death occurring any second in the time of war.
Which brings notion to the cultural context of the medic in the image, by him not having the knowledge of the environment around him and any possible threats that would come about. Works Cited: Moffett, George. "Celebrating WWII's other front. (Cover story). " Christian Science Monitor May 1995: 1. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Nov. 2011. Reynolds, Frank A. "Field Medic On The Italian Front. " Military History 22. 8 (2005): 54-68. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Nov. 2011.
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