Trauma and addiction are mental conditions that occur as result of stress that exceed one’s ability to cope, or integrate the emotions involved with painful experiences. Excessive ingestion of substances such as alcohol may result to an addiction which leads to the addicted individual causing harm to himself and to those around him. In the novel “Medicine walk” by Richard Wagamese the cost and consequences of trauma and addiction can be seen through the character Eldon Starlight. Eldon’s traumatic experiences and his subsequent addiction to alcohol effect not only him but also those around him. His drinking started when his mother made him leave his home as she chose to stay with her abusive husband. Eldon’s alcohol consumption increased when he killed his best friend Jimmy for his own survival during the Korean war. Eldon’s addiction has also affected his family as his son Franklin never gets the chance to be raised by his own father. Eldon comes home drunk while his wife was giving birth to his son which ultimately led to her passing.Furthermore",causing his health to decline leading to his liver failure and inevitable death. Addiction and trauma caused Eldon Starlight his life, his family and his only friend.
Behind every addiction story lies trauma and resentment as to why alcohol becomes a coping mechanism . Eldon's unreasonable drinking propensity began quickly when he was left with no option but to leave his home in the rise of a conflict with his mother’s significant other. Eldon found out that his mother was being abused by her husband, Jenks. Eldon and his friend Jimmy had an intense alteration which ended in Jenks being wounded. Eldon’s mother asked both of them to leave and run away immediately “then it was guilt and shame over leavin’ her with that bastard. got to be so it ate at me bad. I dealt with it the only way I knew how”(Wagamese",99-100)In this quote it is notable that Eldon’s guilt of leaving his mother with her abusive husband was one of the reasons for his addiction which haunted him for life. Eldon’s traumatic experience after he left his mother and not knowing what had happened to her after he left has caused him stress. His mother choosing her abusive husband over him has damaged Eldon internally “it felt like I was no account to and it pissed me off. Made walkin’ away easier” (99).Here it is evident that Eldon was greatly affected by his mother’s decision of staying behind with her husband. It has made him feel like he was nothing to her and that has caused him immense amount of guilt, shame and the sense of worthlessness.Therefore, he dealt with it the way he knew best-alcohol.
Eldon’s alcohol abuse mounted when he killed his only friend Jimmy during the Korean war.Eldon narrates to his son Franklin “I took to drinking after that. Drank so bad they drummed me out dishonorable pretty quick” (166). Eldon and Jimmy were best friends they worked together at odd jobs before joining the army. Jimmy’s death resulted Eldon being dismissed from the military which increased his drinking to deal with the death of his best friend. Eldon become more miserable and emotionally disturbed as he became jobless and had nowhere to run to from his agony and guilt of his friend’s death on his shoulders. Jimmy’s death has altered Eldon’s life as he feels he is guilty of killing his friend. When franklin said to him jimmy would have died anyway because of his injury Eldon replies “there’s no knowing’ that” (168). In this quote it can be concluded that Eldon believes that if were not him jimmy would be alive. Jimmy’s death has brought more misery to Eldon as he feels he is responsible for his best friend’s death. This painful incident has caused Eldon to drink more often and consequently becoming an addict.
addiction had a negative impact on Eldon’s health. Eldon’s dependency on alcohol has become worse as he goes back to drinking after every short period of time. When he sees franklin with a beer trying to get rid of it He says “do me a favor? Pour it out it” (122). He tries to quit his alcoholic behavior but it doesn’t last too long. two days later he asks franklin to get him his Alcohol again “the kid rose and retrieved the bottles. He held them while his father took some of the liquid in his mouth. He fought to swallow. There was wild make to his hands” (112). the significant role of addiction in Eldon’s life expectancy is evident as it leads to his liver failure which led to his death. He tries to quit alcohol but only last for few days. He explains to franklin how his liver has given out because of his alcohol addiction “the liver. She’s shot. All kinds of crap making his way into my body now” (39). Addiction has caused him an extensive damage to his body. Due to his alcoholism Eldon develops a liver failure and he dies at an early age from liver complication
Eldon’s addiction had a negative effect on his relation with his family. It has affected his son franklin as he never gets the chance to be raised by his own biological father and it ruins the few memories they shared. Franklin goes to visit his father, Eldon for a picnic on his tenth birthday. Eldon promise franklin that he would not drink that day, a promise that was never kept as franklin was forced to drive his drunk father back home, the text explains “at first he felt disappointed when a birthday came and went withoutwith out present or a card. But as the months went by he learned to forget expectations. For a time he could allow the notion of having a father somewhere in the world gradually slip away” (135). Eldon’s addiction has hurt his son Franklin and has made him not to expect anything good from his own father. Frank seemed a contended kid but inside he was angry at his father. Eldon comes home drunk when he realizes that his wife Angie was about to give birth and takes her hospital because of his drunken state at the time, he could not make it to the hospital on time and Angie dies. When he finally brings her to the hospital he waits outside and when he sees the doctor coming he paced the hall and the doctor tells him plainly “she had a chance, she had made it in here in time” (222). Eldon felt hurt and responsible for his wife’s death. The overwhelming sense of failure has caused him so much trauma which helped increases his drinking. “The pain was roaring in him he only knew one way to quiet it.’ (222). Eldon couldn’t handle the pain the anymore and that made him a hopeless drunk. It'sIts such a jarring moment that made him a victim of the bottle.
The novel “medicine walk” by Richard wagamese shows the relationship between trauma and addiction and its cost and consequences through the character Eldon starlight. Eldon's traumatic encounters were the reason for his habit and has contrarily affected him and his family. Eldon began drinking after his mother him made his leave his home. It declined for him when he murdered his closest companion for his own survival amid the Korean war. Eldon kept going couple of days without liquor when he attempted to stop. His well beingwellbeing decays and his liver flops because of his liquor misuse and kicks the bucket at an early age. Eldon's dependence impact franklin as he grows up without his dad and furthermore demolishing their few shared recollections. Because of his dependence on liquor, Eldon plays
a job in his significant other's demise on the day when was bringing forth franklin. pain and compulsion causes mental and enthusiastic pressure and numerous individuals not realizing how to oversee it they swing to addictive substances as intends to adapt their agony.