Why is this book called The Citadel?

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A "citadel" is a fortress, or a fortified position. It comes from the word "city". It can also mean a place of safety.

This novel is about an idealistic doctor who tries to reconcile the realities of the practice of medicine with his ideals about the practice of medicine. His ideas are very ahead of his time and although he works 24/7 and always has his patients' best interest at heart, the people of the towns in which he practices have very old-fashioned ideas about how medicine should be practiced and he is always fighting an uphill battle with them. He also battles against the medical profession itself and the closed-mindedness of his colleagues. The book focuses on medical ethics, a battle between an innovative doctor and the behemoth medical profession.

So, with this in mind, what do you think is the "citadel" in this novel? Could it be the impregnable fortress of the medical profession, a profession that has for many, many years been in a "secure" position with no challenges from anyone? Can the medical profession be a "citadel" that cannot be overcome?

What do you think?