If the plural 'we' subsumed individual horror into a larger medical community, it also suggests the oppression of uniform and ideology, bringing the nurses rather close to the emasculated 'they' who are being treated: 'He is blind, deaf, dead, as I am-another machine just as I am'.
men's bodies are like clothes to be mended, food to be cooked, metal to be beaten back to shape.
Death becomes a saviour to this endless recycling, an end to pain: in Borden, the nurses become 'conspirators' against the right to die
the strident repetition of 'we as 'one life', cancelling all distance between the soldier and the nurse, shows an over-eagerness to stake a claim on contemporary events whose underside is moments of isolation and anxiety.
The 'our' in Mary Borden's preface is also a footnote to history, stressing female presence and communality within the forbidden zone.
Borden would boldly lay claim to bodily knowledge, traditionally associated with the male experience of the war.
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