Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 414

Themes of My Own Country include belonging, the search for a place of one's own, medical prejudice, and the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic.

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Abraham Verghese writes about never feeling like he belongs. As an Indian man in America, he had less of a chance to access prestigious medical internships than other doctors. He also lived in small communities where there weren't a lot of immigrants. Once he begins working with AIDS patients, he has an additional stigma that separated him from others. The fears surrounding the AIDS virus even creates a separation between him and his wife. Oddly, the sense of isolation and the lack of belonging makes it easier for his patients to connect with him; they often experience a similar isolation because of their disease.

The search for a place to call home is another theme that Verghese writes about. He never feels like he belongs, no matter where he lives. That's one thing that brings him back to Johnson City, Tennessee. He wants to find a place where he feels like he is at home—and he does. Ultimately, though, he has to leave to take a new job where he is less directly connected with patients.

Medical prejudice is also something Verghese discusses. Doctors and people in the lives of AIDS patients reject them and blame them for their own illness. He finds that people are reluctant to treat them. Since he's willing to treat them, his patient list balloons, and he has less time with his family. The disease almost causes people to see those...

(The entire section contains 414 words.)

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