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Summary On The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down By Ann Fadiman

Powerful Essays
The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down by Ann Fadiman is a very interesting book. It’s amazing how difficult it is for Americans to understand other cultures because the United States is such a diverse country. However, as an American, I understood the frustrations that Lia Lee’s doctors’ felt when trying to diagnose and treat her properly. In this book both the American doctors and the Hmong peoples faced many hardships and barriers when trying to communicate with each other. After having read this book I can understand where both groups were coming from and reasons for their actions. I could only imagine the level of difficulty and anger that the doctors and Lia’s parents must have experienced over that time period.

The two items that I will be discussing are questions one and two. Looking at the Lee family from a psycho-social perspective, I would say that they are a very close nit family who value their culture. The wife, Foua is very independent in the sense that she gave birth to all of her children except Lia, without any help or assistance from anyone. Also because she worked in the fields all through her pregnancies. The husband, Nao Kao is a very loving, and supporting to his wife and children. The Lee’s value their beliefs and believe strongly in their customs. They possess close nit ties to other Hmong people and although they were taught their own healing remedies, they are somewhat accepting of western customs as well.

While reading this book, I identified many problems and stressors. Some of them include the language barrier, which made it hard for doctors to ask questions like what’s the problem, where does it hurt, how bad is the pain, etc. The language barrier also made it hard for doctors to explain diagno...

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... had previously had experienced.

I think Jeanine taught them a valuable lesson in the sense that all Americans are not the same. We all are not capable of understanding other cultures and peoples. We all do not pass judgments or view those who are different from us in a negative way. All Americans are not trying to convert other people into their way of life. We all don’t feel that our culture is superior to others. Americans can be open- minded individuals. Not all Americans agree with all of the laws of our country. Overall I believe that having Jeanine as their social worker, the Lee’s and Lia’s doctors learned some valuable lessons. The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down is an excellent read. I would recommend that everyone read this book especially people whose professions requires them to do extensive work with people from different backgrounds and cultures.
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