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An Analysis of "Mountains Beyond Mountains" & "Hotel Rwanda"

Updated on January 12, 2017

Analysis of Mountains Beyond Mountains

A time of crisis reveals the true essence of a man. While American doctor Paul Farmer and Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina seem to have little in common but their first name, both exhibit enormous courage when faced with the extinction of thousands of their fellow men. As they call upon years of training, willingness to take personal risks, and an indomitable will, they demonstrate who they really are.

Role of Education

Both men traversed a plethora of arduous situations that would have been impassable had it not been for their extensive training and subsequent skills. Paul Farmer's studying at the prestigious Harvard and Duke institutions gave him the necessary knowledge to treat people all across the world. His later associations with very influential people were much more productive and less stressful because of his extraordinary people skills honed through his years as a doctor. He was a well-schooled man with excellent people-skills, thus enabling him to acquire the essential materials, money and followers to seize his goal. Rusesabagina was no different. By effectively employing the talents crafted while part of the Hotel’s management, Rusesabagina managed to save over 1,000 people. He was able to have a very level head as he dealt with very prominent and dangerous people. He knew what bribes would work and what needed to be done in moments of crisis. His commitment to upholding the hotel’s high standards and his training to do so ultimately led to his survival.

Role of Peril & Danger

Paul Rusesabagina constantly placed himself in great peril to save others. His true character is made evident by how much he was willing to risk and give to save his fellow men. He gave so much money (both from his personal stash and the hotel’s funds) to try to buy protection for the endangered Tutsis. He traveled to some of the most hazardous areas of town to barter for necessary supplies to provide for the hotel. Even when his family was being whisked to what they thought was safety, Rusesabagina stayed behind to tend to the people at his hotel. Paul Farmer also underwent immense personal risk, endangering not only his career, but also his life. He utilized unapproved medical techniques in direct violation of the WHO standard protocol. Although these methods were untested, Farmer’s skill prevailed and they proved to be very effective. Farmer's insistence on working hard despite his serious illness (Hepatitis A) conveys just how much he cared about his work, and how far he was willing to go for it. He abandoned the chance for a very comfortable life in the US for years of poverty, excessive walking, and residing in the slums of the world. Clearly these men were risk takers.

Paul Rusesabagina
Paul Rusesabagina

Role of Independence & Strong Will

Perhaps the only characteristic that Farmer and Rusesabagina exhibited more than their love for the common man was their indomitable wills. Both men stood up to authority to get what they needed. Rusesabagina knew that he needed protection around the hotel. Consequently, he pestered the general, and through some very persuasive maneuvers, was granted the security that he desired. His sheer desire to stay alive kept him moving. He persevered and contacted the hotel management in Belgium. He had his “customers” contact outside relatives. He pleaded with the UN to step in and save them. No matter what happened, his will to live and to protect his family prevailed. Paul Farmer also had a steel will. Farmer had a goal, and not matter what, he was going to attempt to seize it. He wanted to bring medicine to the world. He went out to search for funds, and he obtained them. By organizing the Partners In Health association, he proved just how much he cared about his mission. He insisted on working despite what happened around him. When his girlfriend left, he worked. When he contracted Hepatitis A, he worked. When he had worked so much that he had burned through almost all of his money, the WHO hated him, and nothing seemed to be going right…. he worked some more.

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Paul Farmer and Paul Rusesabagina are two individuals that exemplify the term “true man.” They put others before themselves in all aspects. They got the job done with little thought to the personal dangers of doing so. They underwent rigorous training that bettered themselves, but also enabled them to help others in times of crisis. If they did not have such “indomitable wills,” this essay would most definitely have a different topic. As portrayed by their actions in such trying times, Paul and Paul let the world know what great men they really are.


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