Henrietta Skloot's The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

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When reading a book, whether the reader knows it or not, they contain invisible threads. These threads float around until ties are made in connection to a work. These ties are made through emotional linkage of the reader to the book. Like in the case of the contemporary biography of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; Skloot makes to tie these threads together utilizing pathos to humanize and get the reader to connect with Henrietta Lacks and sympathize for the situation she is in. A main goal and component of this biography is to humanize Henrietta. Skloot aims to inform the reader about the woman behind the science; she is not Helen Lane or HeLa, but a woman who had a life and a family. Actions of the scientific community severely affected not only her, but the next generation of the Lacks family. Skloot goes on to describe her family background as well as giving an in-depth description of Henrietta herself. An element that Skloot especially emphasizes was how much Henrietta cared about her appearance: Henrietta spent hours taking care of those nails, touching up the chips and brushing on new coats of polish. She’d sit on her bed, polish her hand, …show more content…

Reading about how much work she put into what she looked like, picturing those deep red nails, and knowing just a little fact that she loved her silky top so much she washed every night; each one of these facts about Hennie’s life gets the reader to develop a connection with the text. This imagery is a effective tool to create pathos because now the reader knows more about Henrietta’s everyday life, and when the reader see Henrietta’s pain at the end of her life, it becomes all the more tragic. Skloot wants the reader to be able to picture the daily routines and regimens that Henrietta would go through in order to deviate away from the formal, scientific descriptions of HeLa and move into a more personal take on her

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