Henrietta Lacks: A Literary Analysis

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Family, for most people, is defined as a sort of safe haven for people to go to. For others, families may be fragmented, split, or may have wrong ideals as a whole. Broken families, while they may have a long lasting effect on the spouses, can also have a detrimental, long-lasting effect on the children of these marriages which can lead to certain mental illnesses. For example, in the story of the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Deborah faces the emotional effects of her mother’s death. Other stories such as “A Rose for Emily”, show how Emily 's fathers parenting techniques and a lack of a mother figure burdened her future. Into the Wild explores the emptiness of love which affects the life choices of a man named Chris. All of these situations…show more content…
The story, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, explores the true story of a woman named Deborah and her journey to discover more information about her mother and what her cells did for humanity. Deborah’s mother, Henrietta, died of cancer and her cells, which were attained by inhumane means, contributed greatly to the scientific study of curing other diseases. Although, Henrietta’s death also had a great impact on Deborah due to the fact that Deborah had to face certain difficult situations. With her passing, Deborah was forced to live with a cousin of her mother, who abused her and had a husband who also verbally and sexually mistreated her. The abuse is prominently shown when Galen, the husband, screams at Henrietta, “Get back here till I finish with you, Dale! You…show more content…
Chris’s family is composed of his two parents, Walt and Billie Mccandless, and his sister, Carine. His family is well off as shown when said, “Walt went into business for himself, launching a small but eventually prosperous consulting firm, User Systems, Incorporated” (Karakauer 20) and the family seemed to only want the best of the best for their son, Chris. While their descriptives may seem like your average family, they still had troubles in their life. In a letter to his sister, Chris told her specifically that he wished to cut all ties off with his family, “I’m going to divorce them as my parents once and for all and never speak to either of those idiots again as long as I love” (Krakaeur 64). By using the word “idiots” when speaking about his parents, Chris shows how he thinks of his parents as lessers and thus this idea contributes to the the true, inner resentment Chris seems to feel for his parents. Chris’s need to “divorce” his parents was due to the fact that he truly despised the lifestyle that they lived and had, especially since it was fueled by materialism and betrayal. Chris’s father, Walt, lived a double life before and during the first years of Chris’ life. He seemingly had two women at his beck and call, but as soon he got discovered and that lifestyle vanquished for him. Although,
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