Essay on Good Kings Bad Kings By Susan Nusbaum

Essay on Good Kings Bad Kings By Susan Nusbaum

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1. In the book Good Kings Bad Kings, Susan Nusbaum, the author, shows the lives of many different characters that live and interact with each other within a center for disabilities. She does this by narrating the story through the perspectives of both the workers and the people living within the center. Although this book is a work of fiction there is a sense of realism due to the fact the Nusbaum has been living with a disability since she was 24 and has the unique perspective of both an abled bodied person and a person with a disability. Throughout the book Nusbaum does a good job at showing the problems that many people with disabilities face on a day to day basis while also focusing on the way that society perceives and interacts with them. While this is a narrative book and there is no clear way for Nusbaum to state her arguments, there is a strong theme that shows the dehumanization of people living with disabilities and how society takes the person out of people with disabilities although they should be treated like every other “normal” individual.
    2. One way she argues this is through the character Michelle Volkmann who is a recruiter of people with disabilities for the book’s main disability center, ILLC or the Illinois Learning and Life Skills Center. In the book, Michelle Volkmann seems to characterize the average person who has no knowledge or experience with people living with disabilities other than her experience with recruiting. Due to this, Michelle Volkmann really only sees these people as objects and means to her own end of making money. Michelle states that “every time I recruit a new person for a Whitney-Palm facility, I get 300$” (25). She is willing to recruit a person even if it does not benefit them b...


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...g care of herself just as many other people with disabilities are. The way that Nusbaum distinctively gives each character “normal” traits speaks to show that people with disabilities are just that, “normal” people who happen to have disabilities.
    5. Overall, I believe that Nusbaum’s goal with this book is to transform the way that society thinks about people with disabilities. She wants society to think of people with disabilities as people first and foremost. She wants people with disabilities to be treated just like every other individual with rights and abilities that can be highlighted and grown upon to help a person grow as a human being. This is not to say that their disabilities should be ignored completely but they should not be the defining characteristic of the person. Nusbaum wants to put the humanity and the person back into people with disabilities.

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