where he works as a farmer. 1 They are
shown to have juxtaposing viewpoints on medicine. Mr Parker is unyielding in
his partiality for professional medicine stating after his accident that:

injury to my leg is I dare say very trifling, but it is always best in these
cases to have a surgeon’s opinion without loss of time.”2

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Mr Heywood believes that, even if
there was a surgeon in the neighbourhood, there is no valid reason to call him
for such a relatively minor injury as a twisted ankle. Instead, he advises a
more practical approach to medicine: “We are always well stocked…with all the
common remedies for sprains and bruises.” Mr Parker’s swift departure from
London in a rented carriage indicates how he does not read the advertisement in
the paper carefully enough, thus ending up in the wrong place when trying to
take the carriage onto an unstable country lane.3 Despite
Mr Parker’s advocacy of objective assessment in medical matters, he makes
several mistakes of interpretation. He believes that a surgeon lives in the
Heywoods’ village of Willingden, and refuses to be convinced by Mr Heywood’s
insistence on the contrary. When told that he is indeed in Willingden he affirms:
“Then Sir, I can bring proof of your having a surgeon in the parish—whether you
may know it or not.”4 Nonetheless,
the newspaper advertisements that constitute to his “proof” refer, as Mr
Heywood explains after examining them, to another Willingden seven miles away. While
most of his siblings, Lady Denham, and Mrs Griffiths misdiagnose medical
symptoms and endorse experimental treatments, Parker misinterprets the
advertisements and travels to find a surgeon who is not even there.