You are going to read a story about a deception involving a doctor which took place in the 19th century. The deception was only discovered when the doctor died. Read the story and find one sentence which describes what the deception was.
In 1812 a young man called James Barry finished his studies in medicine at Edinburgh University. After graduating he moved to London where he studied surgery at Guy's Hospital. After that the popular young doctor joined the army and over the next forty years had a brilliant career as an army medical officer, working in many far-off countries and fighting successfully for improved conditions in hospitals. It was a remarkable career - made even more remarkable by the discovery upon his death that he was in fact a she. James Barry was a woman.
No one was more surprised at this discovery than her many friends and colleagues. It was true that throughout her life people had remarked upon her small size, slight build and smooth pale face. One officer had even objected to her appointment as a medical assistant because he could not believe that Barry was old enough to have graduated in medicine. But no one had ever seriously suggested that Barry was anything other than a man.
By all accounts Barry was a pleasant and good-humoured person with high cheek bones, reddish hair, a long nose and large eyes. She was well-liked by her patients and had a reputation for great speed in surgery – an important quality at a time when operations were performed without anaesthetic. She was also quick-tempered. When she was working in army hospitals and prisons overseas, the terrible conditions often made her very angry. She fought hard against injustice and cruelty and her temper sometimes got her into trouble with the authorities. After a long career overseas, she returned to London where she died in 1865. While the undertaker's assistant was preparing her body for burial, she discovered that James Barry was a woman.
So why did James Barry deceive people for so long? At that time a woman could not study medicine, work as a doctor or join the army. Perhaps Barry had always wanted to do these things and pretending to be a man was the only way to make it possible. Perhaps she was going to tell the truth one day, but didn't because she was enjoying her life as a man too much. Whatever the reason, Barry's deception was successful. By the time it was discovered that she had been the first woman in Britain to qualify as a doctor, it was too late for the authorities to do anything about it.
It seems to be the rule of this world. Each person has what he doesn’t want, and other people have what he does want.
Exercise 1. Decide if these statements are true or false.
1. James Barry pretended to be a man because there were no women doctors.
2. She worked to improve conditions in hospitals.
3. Many people suspected that she was a woman.
4. She never lost her temper.
5. She was a very good doctor.
6. The authorities had trouble with her sometimes.
7. She performed operations very slowly and carefully.
8. The army authorities discovered that she was a woman while she was working abroad.
Exercise 2. Now talk about how the story would change if the deception was revealed in the last paragraph. Would this be better?
Exercise 3. Write some true and false statements about James Barry. Ask your friends to guess which are true and which are false.
Exercise 4. Hold a round-table discussion on the following questions:
1. Do you think there was anything wrong in what James Barry did?
2. Are there any jobs today that womеn are not allowed to do?
3. Are there any jobs that are better done by men?