In fact, in telling Dr. Minor’s story, Mr. Winchester manages to describe a very disturbed and at the same time altogether human character. Dr. Minor’s upbringing and developmental history are exhaustively explored, and the description of Dr. Minor is given with a refreshing combination of curiosity and genuine respect. For example, according to Dr. Minor’s medical records, he began to suffer a preoccupation with what he called "lascivious thoughts" at the age of 13, while he was residing in Ceylon with his missionary parents. Mr. Winchester muses that the Ceylonese girls who commanded Dr. Minor’s attention must have "seemed a rare constant in a shifting, inconstant life." Similarly, in describing the horrors that Dr. Minor witnessed during his Civil War tenure, Mr. Winchester postulates that Dr. Minor’s awful wartime duty of cattle-branding deserters with a scarred letter D psychologically unhinged and angered the young physician. "Was this," Mr. Winchester imagines Dr. Minor to have thought, "truly permitted under the terms of the Hippocratic oath?"