Diving Bell And The Butterfly: A Literary Analysis

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A near-perfect protagonist in a story is a common place for a story to have. A character like this provides a goal for a reader to strive for. In other word, the protagonist is idolized by a reader very often. To the contrary, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a memoir by Jean- Dominique Bauby, diverges from the ‘perfect protagonist,’ and Jean- Dominique Bauby presents himself to the reader as a far from perfect person. This approach gives the book an overarching theme of humanity. Jean-Dominique Bauby was a famous French Journalist who suffered from a stroke, leaving him incapacitated with “locked-in syndrome.” Jean was paralyzed from head to toe, but his mind was intact. Without the ability to speak or move, he was basically imprisoned…show more content…
Later he learns to cope with it and wants to write a book with the help of his transcriber, Claude Mendibil. The reader then learns about Bauby’s life through flashbacks and character interactions. A woman named Celine Desmoulines visits comes to visit him in the hospital. Celine was Jean- Dominique’s wife, of which they had two children. It is learned that he treated his wife and kids very badly, and even had a mistress when he was in a healthy state. He realizes that he cannot change anything that happened between them at this point, leaving him with many regrets. Jean- Dominique is later visited by Pierre Roussin. The reader learns that Bauby gave his plane ticket on flight to Hong Kong to Roussin. Unfortunately, that flight was hijacked, resulting in Roussin being held hostage in Beirut, Lebanon for four years. Once Pierre Roussin visits him in the hospital, Jean- Dominique remembers that he forgot to call to reconciliate with Roussin after he got released. These parts of the story are where the reader is exposed once again to the protagonist’s theme of humanity. Jean- Dominique was not an angel or any idol figure to the people around him. He often pushed away even those closest to him. With a bad family relationship, Jean- Dominique lived finished his life with many regrets, making him all the more

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