The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot

685 Words3 Pages

Throughout the process of reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, there are a great deal of recurring themes that run central to the story’s plot. However, the theme of spirituality, which is often intertwined with the beliefs of the Lacks family, is one that captures the reader’s attention starting as early as the prologue. Even the author, Rebecca Skloot, provides a contrast between herself and Henrietta’s youngest daughter, Deborah, to illustrate how one’s beliefs can drastically shape his or her worldview. In terms of this particular story, it is important to take a closer look into how these faith-based beliefs interact with their counterpart of drawing conclusions based on evidence, thus introducing the question “How did level of …show more content…

Additionally, one should consider the effects of each character’s race during the segregated era in which the story is set. This factor would greatly contribute to one’s outlook, where although one’s race does not necessarily indicate their upbringing in terms of religious beliefs, it would be generally representative of the ethnic group to which one belonged. This is also exemplified through the interaction between Skloot and Deborah, where each woman’s race played an integral role in how they were raised, and therefore shaped how they thought about religion and spirituality as a whole. Whereas Deborah could explain each of the situations throughout and after her mother’s life as having supernatural backing, Skloot took a more rational approach and chose science to support her conclusions. This contrast also calls into question how each approach can potentially affect one’s resulting …show more content…

“Munchie prayed as he rode away, Lord, I know you didn’t mean to take this baby. She washed Day in a tub of warm water, then put him on a white sheet where she rubbed and patted his chest until he gasped for breath and his blue skin warmed to soft brown,” is one major manifestation of how perspective of each character shapes one’s actions and reactions. Due to Munchie’s deeply religious, Christian upbringing, she immediately seeks God’s supernatural aid to bring the baby back to life, as she believes that David was wrongfully in such a condition. Also, this visceral reaction could have been the direct result of her mere lack of a high school education which would encompass biology, much less technical skills in medical care. On the contrary, however, if Skloot were faced with the same situation, her feelings of discomfort towards religion paired with her higher level of knowledge would have led her to believe that since the baby had no scientific signs of life, that he should be declared

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