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Still Alice by Lisa Genova

analytical Essay
1265 words
1265 words
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Lisa Genova, the author of Still Alice, a heartbreaking book about a 50-year-old woman's sudden diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. She is a member of the Dementia Advocacy, Support Network International and Dementia USA and is an online columnist for the National Alzheimer's Association. Genova's work with Alzheimer's patients has given her an understanding of the disorder and its affect not only on the patient, but on their friends and family as well (Simon and Schuster, n.d.). Alzheimer’s disease was first defined in 1906 by a German psychiatrist, Alois Alzheimer. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive brain disorder in which the nerve cells in the brain gradually die off. It is estimated that 26 million people world-wide are afflicted by Alzheimer’s and of those, approximately 4.5 million live in the United States. It is said to be the seventh leading cause of death in the USA and the fifth leading cause of death for those over age 65. Seventeen percent of women and ten percent of men age 55 and older can expect to develop Alzheimer’s (apa.org, 2009). Researchers report that this disease is more prevalent in African Americans and Hispanics than in whites (Crandell, Crandell, and Zanden, 2009, p. 578). Lisa Genova’s grandmother, who was 85 years old, had been showing signs of dementia for years; but she was a smart and independent woman who never complained, and she navigated around her symptoms. Her nine children and their spouses, as well as her grandchildren, passed off her mistakes to normal aging. Then they got the phone call when Lisa’s grandmot... ... middle of paper ... ...ow what the future holds. Major questions are raised as to whether a person with Alzheimer’s should be able to end their lives rather than suffer a gradual decline. Another concern in the book is the responsibility the family members have to sacrifice to care for the person with Alzheimer's. Genova herself does not take a strong stand; instead she lets the plot play out allowing readers to make up their own minds. Works Cited Crandell, Thomas. Crandell, Corinne Haines. Zanden, James W. Vander. (2009). Human Development. New York: McGraw-Hill. Genova, Lisa. (2007). Still Alice. New York: Pocket Books. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2009/07/alzheimers-test.aspx. Retrieved from http://authors.simonandschuster.ca/Lisa-Genova/49420182/biography. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/22/1/93.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how alice becomes forgetful when she gets lost in her neighborhood and realizes something is wrong. she wanted to live to hold her daughter anna's baby and watch her son, tom, fall in love.
  • Narrates how genova spent hours researching to create still alice. she knew she would never be able to learn about everyone’s experience with alzheimer's disease.
  • Analyzes how the writer takes alice's point of view, so we get some perception of what it is like to experience the symptoms as they develop in the progression of the illness.
  • Opines that still alice is a well-written and informative book. the most controversial part of the book will be the instructions alice writes to herself when she is competent, telling her to take an overdose.
  • Describes crandell, corinne haines, and zanden, james w. vander. human development, new york, mcgraw-hill.
  • Explains that lisa genova's work with alzheimer’s patients has given her an understanding of the disorder and its affect not only on the patient, but on their friends and family.
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