How Does Lisa Genova Use Irony In Still Alice

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Losing Control
“Alzheimer's disease was an entire different kind of beast. There were no weapons that could slay it. Taking Aricept and Namenda felt like aiming a couple of leaky squirt guns in the face of a blazing fire...The blazing fire consumed all. No one got out alive” (117). In Still Alice by Lisa Genova, the readers follow the protagonist through her descent into dementia. A Psychology professor at Harvard, Alice Howland is slowly losing her cognitive functions and finds that she has early onset Alzheimer's disease. Alice does all that she can to keep who she is alive, but even a person as intelligent as she cannot keep a grasp on her sanity once faced with this malicious prognosis. Throughout the novel, the use of irony and a tone of desperation both contribute to the theme of her desire to maintain control.
To start off, the irony in the novel has a great influence on the theme. The most evident piece of irony that shows in the novel is the fact that Alice is the Psychology Professor at Harvard and as she teaches her students the study of the human mind, she is losing hers. Alice studied and taught psychology for many years, and all of that knowledge is escaping her now. No matter how hard she tries to keep this disease from overcoming her, she cannot beat it. Her intelligence allows her to develop coping mechanisms that the
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Alice tries her hardest to do all she can to stay in control of her life to avoid the inevitable result of her diagnosis. The irony that is laced within the book connects to the theme through Alice’s prominent intelligence. Alice Howland, the Harvard professor who is losing her mind, is not an ordinary victim to her early onset Alzheimer's disease. She has a certain desire and will to maintain control over her prestigious life she has built for herself. Alice’s neurologist, Dr. Davis, knows she has much more mental capacity than the normal person. He
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