The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks Essay Questions

1444 Words6 Pages
Language Arts
Question 4

In the beginning of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the author, Rebecca Skloot, stated her goal and reason of writing the book. Learning biology in college, her professor mentioned Henrietta and her cells very briefly. Fortunately, this was enough to catch Skloot’s curiosity. She desired to learn more about the woman responsible for so many scientific breakthroughs. Rebecca said, “As I worked my way through graduate school studying writing, I became fixated on the idea of someday telling Henrietta’s story”. Throughout the story, Skloot’s unceasing effort to gain more knowledge about Henrietta led to becoming close with her family. There were many harsh feelings in the beginning, due to the family’s anger towards
…show more content…
Not only does Skloot combine other fictitious works with films to help her structure, but she also uses many chapter and section breaks. She would create one or two chapters explaining the research and controversy about cells and biopsies, then would swiftly transition back into her goal-- the goal of getting to know who Henrietta really was. This transition and section break helps to reinforce items that were going on in Henrietta’s life. Skloot’s research not only assisted the reader’s comprehension, it also helped the family understand Henrietta’s problems as well. When someone’s life becomes affected by something in science, it helps to have background knowledge in that area.When Skloot took Deborah and Zakariyya to meet Christoph, a scientist at Johns Hopkins, their knowledge only expanded. Learning more about their mother meant learning more about her cells, which is the information Skloot would include in her chapter breaks. Skloot says, “He grabbed a piece of scrap paper and spent nearly a half-hour drawing diagrams and explains the basic biology of cells as Deborah asked questions. Zakariyya turned up his hearing aid and leaned close to Christoph and the paper.” Being more intrigued about their mother helped to understand what happened to her. This is why Skloot’s section breaks and important transitions were vital to the story’s composition and anachronistic order . While The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has clever chapter breaks, it also reveals a juxtaposition of having three divisions: Life, Death, and Immortality. The contrasting subjects within this book creates different perspectives on something so real such as bodies used for research. Behind the reality and the facts, there were always different opinions on what should have been done. The Lacks family had always wished they would have known about the research, but George Gey would tend to disagree. The
Open Document