Monday, October 8, 2007

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

If you ask me, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was a very interesting book. Jean's condition was very stressful to think about, and I was glad when he started turning his head 90 degrees and humming a tune. Every time I put the book down, I felt a great sense of relief. I can move! I don't think I can ever complain about my body again (not that I usually do).

I'm not sure what inspired Jean to write this book. Perhaps he was trying to show that people should be allowed to die if their only other option is to remain in locked-in syndrome. Or the opposite: Jean could be trying to show that no matter how the body is damaged, the human mind is still free.

Whatever the case, the author must have had a very strong will to write the book, because he did so by blinking his eye. It's hard to imagine how frustrating it must have been to blink on the wrong letter, and having no way to say, "Oops!" Even if Claude was reciting the alphabet slowly, I have a feeling that you've blinked a couple times without purposely doing so, and it was most likely the same for Jean. I assume that his eye would start to hurt after a page or two. Also, what if he wanted to go back and change something? Or if he didn't think of an idea instantly, wouldn't Claude just keep on going? "U, L, O, M, D..." Yep. Very frustrating stuff.

I found Jean's dream to be interesting. It's often surprising how much sense dreams make when you remember them. In his dream, Jean was functioning normally, but when the situation became dangerous, he suddenly couldn't move or talk. It really shows that no matter how high the butterfly can fly, it still bangs into the diving bell.

Now that Mr. Hatten has brought up three unimaginably terrible situations, would you rather: a: be stuck on the top floor of a burning skyscraper, b: be stuck in a dark submarine at the bottom of the sea, or c: have locked-in syndrome with an messed-up face?

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