In Nephilim and Lay My Head, by Annette Binder, both main characters suffer from lack of control over their bodies due to certain illnesses. These stories share an interesting perspective of how our bodies can be weak but our minds can still remain strong.
Freda, the main character in Nephilim,is a giantess born to normal sized parents because of a rare disease. Her mother often compares her and tells her stories of the Nephilim, a race descended from fallen angels and human women.“God was a blacksmith and her bones were the iron. He was drawing them out with a hammer”( Binder pg 1 ).Binder beautifully expresses Freda's condition here, relating God to a blacksmith and his people as his creations,creating them in any shape or size that he wants them to be. She never allows the reader to feel sorry for Freda, but rather expresses her disease in a mythical kind of way.
When a friend is needed most, Teddy the neighborhood kid comes into her life by showing her kindness and no fear of her disease. She eventually hires him to do basic chores she is no longer able to do because her condition makes it painful and hard to move. After Freda's mother dies, Teddy becomes really the only human contact and companion she has. As time passes, they grow closer and we see her mobility decrease to using a cane or walker, and his increase to bike and then car. Freda's gradual physical decline shows a sense of normalcy that she has been trying to achieve. She wants to feel like everyone else, “ we're all from the same place “( Binder pg 2 ). She doesn't want to be exceptional she wants to be normal.
Even though eventually Teddy will grow up and have to leave her just like everyone else, for sometime they were able to help each other get through t...
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...pparent. When the baby saw Angela's face she had no reaction, because baby's are still so naïve and that obviously doesn't matter to them. Although the baby did not notice anything different about Angela, the baby's mother did and she quickly pulled her baby away from Angela, making clear how her disease was slowly taking over her life.
After reading both of these stories, it becomes apparent how easily people become treated differently just because they have certain visible deformities. Freda lives her life ashamed of what she looks like and basically becomes a hermit to society. Both Angela and Freda experience the daily struggle of living with such a severe disease causing them to have to become stronger individuals. Both of these people started off with a pretty positive view on life and ended up being swallowed up by their disease causing their lonely demises.