State of Wonder Chapters 10-11 Summary & Analysis

Ann Patchett

State of Wonder

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State of Wonder Chapters 10-11 Summary & Analysis

Part V: Mr. Fox Arrives, Climax, and Resolution

Chapter 10

Marina begins making regular morning trips to the Martins, ingesting the bark to turn herself into “medical evidence” before returning to the U.S.  Other than these trips, she performs regular surgical procedures on the Lakashi, who now see her as a miracle healer, and thinks of ways to take Easter with her when she departs the station. While she plans her departure, Dr. Swenson appeals for her to stay to deliver her baby, even referring to the upcoming event as “our delivery date” (293).

Now inoculated from malaria by the Martin bark treatments, Marina is able to safely tour the doctors’ huts behind the research lab with Alan Saturn. In one of these huts, stored in buckets covered with pantyhose, are thousands of mosquitos infected with malaria. These malarial mosquitos are used periodically on Lakashi test subjects, the ethics of which practice trouble Marina. While the men are ultimately treated and cured, Marina wonders about the morality of infecting humans with malaria and only giving them coke in the exchange.  Alan Saturn explains that the human trials are necessary if they plan to eradicate the disease on a global scale, saving millions of lives. “It’s the human trials that make the difference” (295), he asserts.

During her remaining days at the station, Marina spends more time writing letters to Mr. Fox or sitting on the banks of the river with Easter, waiting and watching for the mail boats that appear periodically. On one of these occasions, she spots a boat in the distance and, assuming it is a mail boat, she calls out to it. The boat changes its course suddenly, heading straight for shore.

A Lakashi welcoming party gathers along the riverbank and Marina is startled to recognize Milton, Barbara Bovender, and Mr. Fox himself on board. The reunion with Mr. Fox is awkward for several reasons. Although he has been her lover for some time, their relationship is a secret and she represses her impulse to embrace him. Furthermore, he has received none of the letters she has sent, and when he…

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