Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science

1155 Words5 Pages
Nonfiction Critique: Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science
John Fleischman’s book, Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science published by the Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston in 2002, is an intriguing retelling of the almost unbelievable event that literally changed the man named Phineas Gage. The author reconstructions for the reader the events that transpire before and after an iron spear-like object is rocketed through the head of Phineas Gage and how the man recovers, but also does not.
Fleischman expertly walks along the line of scientific fact and interest and gruesome detail. He uses the fascinating story of Phineas Gage to analyze and deconstruct a very detailed and complex science surrounding the human brain, and makes the material readable and accessible to a younger age bracket. The use of scientific terms paired with simplistic explanations and occasional parenthetical definitions aid in the understanding of the difficult content at hand. Sentence structure is not overly complicated, and the use of
…show more content…
The purpose of this was to deconstruct the content into manageable segments. Fleischman starts by relating the events of the Gage’s accident and giving the reader a little background on pre-accident Phineas. Then, following through with his recovery, or perhaps lack thereof, from the accident to demonstrate the point the author is trying to make. In the next section, the author guides the reader through the schools of thought related to the brain at the time of Gage’s accident and a little of where Gage’s accident helped to lead the theories of brain science. In the third segment, the author follows up with what is known about Phineas’ life after the accident and to his death eleven years later. Finally, the last portion focuses on a pair of doctors who team up to reconstruct and analyze Gage’s accident using modern technologies (p.
Open Document