The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot

1018 Words5 Pages

Many students struggle with the same question: When will I ever use this in the real world? They spend the formative years of their lives learning information that molds them in a way that just doesn’t end up sticking. Most humans won’t need to differentiate between strong and weak bases on a daily basis but everyone reads. A skill we began learning in kindergarten might just be the most important skill we learn in school. Reading opens our eyes to new worlds and new opportunities. Reading makes us better by helping people understand their own lives, illuminating issues of morality, and by helping people understand and empathize with others. At first glance, Twelve angry men doesn’t seem like the text that would help most people understand …show more content…

Sick with cancer, Henrietta goes to Johns Hopkins hospital. The hospital takes her cells to a lab where they discover her cells are immortal. They proceed with further research and end up selling her cells for millions of dollars. This all happens while Henrietta is dying and even after her death, her family never sees a single penny. Anyone with morals can see that this is an act of injustice. Morality is the “predisposition to judge human actions as either right or wrong in terms of their consequences for other human beings” (The Difference of Being Human: Morality | PNAS). It is the internal compass that every human is born with that allows us to make decisions for the good of the good of the group, rather than for only ourselves. The importance of books such as The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is that they tell the story for someone who had no voice. It’s about shedding light on dark topics that would otherwise be hidden from the public. Rebecca Sloot is adamant about having morality and expresses it in the epigraph of her book: “We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph” (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks). Sloot wants readers to know that morality is crucial. Truth and justice is …show more content…

Anna was literally born in order to help Kate live longer. They both go through procedures but the problem is that Anna gains no benefit from the surgeries. She files for medical emancipation in order to escape her parents control and the surgeries. Anna’s lawyer, Campbell Alexander, mentions a saying that his father constantly used: “When you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” What this can mean is that everyone’s metaphorical toolbox is filled differently and not everyone has access to the same resources. Each individual is a direct result of their reaction to the cards they’ve been dealt. The sad reality is that not everyone is given the proper resources in life. And for most, they have to make the best of difficult situations. This is where empathy comes in. We have to be able to care for others even when we don’t understand their situation. Most people are fighting a battle but you’ll never realize by looking at them. Another text that teaches empathy is Ode to the Chronically Ill Body. Phrases such as, “I crumple like paper because of this body” (Ode to the Chronically Ill Body 11) and “This body is a stubborn traffic light stuck on red,” (Ode to the Chronically Ill Body 20) create images in the reader's mind. These phrases can allow readers to grasp how the author feels even if they don’t experience the pain of a chronically ill

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