It was 1848 when the story took place. Phineas Gage was a railroad construction worker in Vermont. He was strong and capable of doing tiring physical work. He had a tamping iron with him to complete his job of setting explosives.
Phineas Gage and his men has to follow a strict routine when dealing with explosives. Phineas first presses the fuse down into the powder as his assistant prepares for the explosion. If it is too dry or mixed incorrectly, it is dangerous and may set off at anytime.
As someone calls his name, Phineas gets distracted. The tamping iron bursts out of the drill hole. The momentum causes the tamping iron to go through his forehead. I think the author included this part because it describes how he got injured and also the cause and effect after the accident.
The men gather around as Phineas as he is bleeding severely. Phineas walks to the Cavendish hotel as if nothing happened. The doctors soon come to the hotel after hearing his incident as they try to help him surgically. They predict that he has no chance to live since they arrived so late as he lost too much blood. However, as if a miracle, he survived.
Even though Phineas seemed to have recovered, he went through a lot of mental change; he was not his old self anymore. He didn't long to see his friends, ate inconstantly, and refused to hearing the doctor's advice as his personality changed too. The doctors started to record the changes. The author included this part because it shows the significant change of before and after the incident. It also shows how much he changed in such a short period.
His mental health got worse and worse overtime. His friends and relatives notice that he is no longer the same. Dr. Harlow continues to take notes as it is coming to the end of his life. He eventually dies because of his brain injury.