The Cradle Will Fall Essay

827 words - 3 pages

The Cradle Will Fall

In many works of literature, a main character is motivated by pure greed in order
to gain wealth, fame and power. This idea is very clearly developed in the novel The
Cradle Will Fall by Mary Higgins Clark where Dr. Edgar Highley, a well respected
obstetrician and gynecologist is using deceitful, depraved, and often deadly methods of
“curing” infertile women to gain national fame. The doctor’s motivation was so great
that he was willing to go to great lengths to keep his unethical practices hidden. When his
work was threatened by others he felt no shame or guilt in getting rid of his problems in
more ways than one.
The doctor knew his procedures were illegal and often deadly, however the chance
for money and fame outweighed the failures in his mind. Dr. Highley was experimenting
with females who could not conceive by taking fetuses from women who had abortions
and implanting those fetuses in sterile women. The amazing part of it was that the process
worked. “ In these past eight years he learned to immunize a host mother from rejecting
an alien fetus.” (Pg. 311) However his plans for success were ruined when by mistake he
implanted a Caucasian women with and Oriental fetus, and was forced to kill her before
she leaked the truth. This occurrence brought on a police investigation that uncovered the
doctor’s plans.
The doctor shared his plans with no one, but he hoped someday he could share his
genius with the world. He had already had a success with his procedures but he knew he
could not proclaim it for there had been too many failures and too many lives wasted. “
He already had his success. He could prove it beyond a doubt. He had accurate records,
scientific documentation, pictures, X-rays, the step-by-step, day-by-day accounts of all the
problems that had arisen and how he dealt with them.” (Pg. 152) The doctor knew it was
his procedures that had killed many women, however he felt that for every patient he lost,
he gained more insight into his practice, prenatal care, and how to correct problems he
encountered in those difficult pregnancies. “When the proper time came he would burn
the files about the failures and claim the recognition that was due to him. By then there
would surely be more triumphs.” (Pg. 152)
The doctor knew nothing must stand in his way and he had to make...

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