A literal rendering of ‘Sans Espoir’ means ‘without hope’ but a more accurate meaning is ‘hopeless’. That’s the emotion that the fictitious Hope St. Hospital evokes in Sans Espoir. Each character suffers that feeling of hopelessness. Readers learn about a system that is against everyone…
Bianca was sure that being a dedicated nurse would make up for the incompetence and lack of empathy of the other nurses. She was certain that the new found love she had come to know that day at Hope St. would blossom into forever.
Trevor lived in the bubble of bliss that was the plantation. His parents were sure that journeying to Hope St. that day and registering to pursue higher education was in his best interest. Trevor’s hesitance and apprehension about going to Hope St. soon changed to hopefulness when he met Bianca that morning but unbeknownst to him, lurking in the artificial ambiance of Hope St. was the inevitable that the heart feared the most.
Sandra already distrusted the place that had taken away her first joy. Journeying again to Hope St. was like walking on hot coals to a probable execution, but like other persons of the same social circumstance, Sandra had no options. And at Hope St. that day, her hopelessness was further reinforced and her opinions of a wrong side system was vindicated.
Jeffery’s situation had already been hopeless by events that marred his childhood. Going to Hope St. that day brought into the open his suppressed demented mind, contributing to the hopeless feeling the others would soon know.
Sheldon had always believed he would be a hero. His actions that day at Hope St. had torn hope away. And yet in some twisted way, his delusion and obsession led to eventual praise and the accolade he had always dreamed of.
Tanty had the greatest hope in an institution which very name was intended to instill hope into persons. But that day, Hope St. became the very personification of hopelessness for Tanty and soon her admiration, respect, trust and yes, hope had diminished.
Now, today, I visited the actual place that inspired Hope St. Hospital and the overall theme of hopelessness in Sans Espoir. And as I sat and waited for hours in a crowded hospital waiting room, listening to other patients and visitors voice their impatience and hear their cries of how ‘fed up’ they all were as the nurse on duty tried to justify a system that obviously was not put in place with the needs of ailing persons in mind, by saying “Dis is Trinidad! What else allyuh expect!?”, I too, like my fictional characters,was plagued by that feeling of hopelessness…