Acad Med. Oct;84(10) doi: /ACM.0beb6ab Medicine and the arts. Imelda [excerpt] by Richard Selzer. Commentary. Burr DA. Richard Selzer’s “Imelda” is a story about a young girl who dies in the hands of Dr . Franciscus. Dr. Franciscus is a plastic surgeon who gives his. Richard Selzer is one of the most prolific physician writers of our time. Early in the story, the unnamed narrator of “Imelda” recalls with.

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Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you. However, the monster turns against him, and it kills the people that he loves. The monster denies him peace of mind when it gets out of control; he swears to destroy it because it does not meet his expectations.

Franciscus is a plastic surgeon who gives his patients and students the srlzer that nothing can go wrong with the plastic surgery procedures. Franciscus is a perfectionist; Selzer compares him with a monk to demonstrate his commitment to his work. Selfish interests motivate mad scientists that play God.

Richard Selzer’s “Imelda” as Frankenstein’s “Playing God” Motif Parable

Notably, Victor is motivated by selfish ambitions when creating the monster. His intention is not to create a better human world; he intends to compete with God; thus, he fails terribly. He wants to give the impression that he is perfect in his work. Nevertheless, he deep down him knows that he is lying to himself because he knows that the girl died before her lip would be fixed. Human beings that play God use technology to show that they can compete with God in matters of creation.


Franciscus as a hero that was made up of some gods; thus they beheld him at a distance. He performed miracles in his work; his students including Selzer were not accustomed to the miracles though The comparison of Dr. The doctor performs miracles in his surgeries; therefore, the students believe that he is superhuman. Human beings that strive to imitate God are haunted for the rest of their lives. Here, Victor uses his knowledge to create a monster with the intention of superseding God.

Medicine and the arts. Imelda [excerpt] by Richard Selzer. Commentary.

He would have been more humane. Selzer writes that Dr. Franciscus and Selzer in the same way that the creature haunts Victor in Frankenstein.

Arguably, the scientists that play God are socially isolated. Selzer explains that Slzer. Franciscus did not have close friends Selzer Perhaps he felt that he was superior to the other staff members because of his skills in plastic surgery. Franciscus and Victor are socially isolated because they believe that they are superior to the people around them. Franciscus and Victor are both obsessed with challenging God in their words of plastic surgery and creation respectively.

Playing God is detrimental plunges a person to the lowest point in his or her life.

Richard selzer imelda essay

Victor believes that he is chained to hell for trusting in technology more than he trusts God. He falls in the same way seozer Satan fell when he challenged God.

The doctor aimed at fixing the lip, but when the girl died, he was devastated because he had not kept his promise of fixing the lip.

The doctor believed that by fixing the lip after her death, he would reverse the order of events and uphold his image as the flawless, perfect plastic surgeon.


Playing God results in interpretive errors. Franciscus was not perfect. The negative actions committed by the monster confirmed that Victor would not be as perfect as God in his creation. Similarly, Imelda was Dr. Franciscus measure of perfection. Franciscus had his flaws because he would not foresee a situation where the girl would react adversely from to the anesthesia.

Franciscus, he violates ethical principles by operating on a dead body with the intention of misleading others about the order of events. Therefore, human beings should not use technology to play the role of God because it will not materialize. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, This is just a sample from a fellow student. Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

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