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The Other Sister Essay

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The Other Sister is about a family with a sibling that has a developmental disability also known as mildly mentally retardation (MMR), mild developmental disability, or mild intellectual disorder (MID). Carla Tate is our main character that has MMR as a disability. She is a young women, twenty-four years old, with a slender but beautiful appearance. Carla has just graduated from a special education boarding school and is returning home to her family. Carla’s mother (Elizabeth Tate) is overbearingly protective, does not appreciate all of the abilities that Carla has acquired. Her father (Bradley Tate) is a recovering alcoholic who is sympathetic and supportive of Carla, who at the same time has to deal with his domineering wife. Carla has two sisters Heather (who happens to be a lesbian) and Caroline (who is planning a wedding). Carla’s sister quickly bond again upon Carla’s return. They are supportive of Carla and her abilities.
Carla’s mother, Elizabeth, throughout the movie shows her domineering, over protectiveness for Carla. Elizabeth who is a wealthy, high society, embarrassed to have an intellectually challenged child, and ashamed that she and Carla’s father sent her away to boarding school now wants to shelter her. Elizabeth pushes Carla into tennis, changing her bedroom appearance, wants to change Carla’s style of dress to something more appropriate for a disabled person, and pushes Carla into high society. Elizabeth does not listen to what Carla wants and desires.
As Carla strives to reach independence by acquiring her own apartment, going to a regular school, picking her own style of décor and clothing, she meets Daniel McMahon. Daniel is also MMR/MID. Daniel goes to school with Carla. Carla and Daniel quickly become ...


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...comes her disability and gains most of her independence from her family. Carla gets her own apartment, learns to care for herself in the apartment, and learns to stand up for herself especially with her mother. We see Carla standing up for herself in the scene of the country club lawn when Carla tells her mother what she feels and expresses her desires. Carla tells her mother that she does not care about the mothers’ opinion on what Carla wants to do. Carla tells her mother, “Daniel and I can take care of each other.” Daniel is determined to stay with Carla. He hitchhikes from Florida back to Carla. He shows his resourcefulness and his independence in the journey back. Daniel proves himself to be worthy of Carla. Both of the main characters are great positive models of MMR/MID. Their disabilities did not stop them from living a complete life in a non-disabled world.


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