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Transcript of Still Alice
By Lisa Genova
. She looked at the baby with the blue ribbon in John's arms.
. [John is Alice's husband]
“And they won't get Alzheimer's like I did?” asked Alice.
“No, Mom, they won't.” [Anna]
Alice inhaled deeply, breathing in the scrumptious smell of her beautiful granddaughter, filling herself with a sense of relief and peace she hadn't known in a long time.” (Page 258)
“My yesterdays are disappearing, and my tomorrows are uncertain, so what do I live for? I live for each day. I live in the moment. Some tomorrow soon, I'll forget that I stood before you and gave this speech. But just because I'll forget it some tomorrow doesn't mean that I didn't live every second of it today. I will forget today, but that doesn't mean that today didn't matter.” (Page 253)
Alice Howland is a middle aged woman and a psychology professor at Harvard university. She experiences several memory lapses and decides to see a neurologist. After several months, she is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The novel describes how Alice lives for the next few years as her brain deteriorates.
Everybody should live their lives to the fullest.
“I am a wife, mother, and friend, and soon to be grandmother. I feel, understand, and am worthy of the love and joy in those relationships. I am still an active participant in society. My brain no longer works well, but I use my ears for unconditional listening, my shoulders for crying on, and my arms for hugging others with dementia...I am not someone dying. I am living with Alzheimer's. I want to do that as well as I can.” (Page 252)
FYI, Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that destroys brain cells and causes memory loss. If the disease is advanced enough, one can lose the ability to communicate. It usually occurs in people 65 and older, except for 5% who develop early onset Alzheimer's which can occur in people around their forties or fifties. Alice had familial Alzheimer's, a type of early onset Alzheimer's that is genetic and has a 50% chance of being passed on to each of her children.
“The actress stopped and came back into herself. She looked at Alice and waited.
“Okay, what do you feel?”
“I feel love, It's about love.”
The actress squealed and rushed over to Alice, kissed her on the cheek, and smiled, every crease of her face delighted.
“Did I get it right?” asked Alice.
“You did, Mom. You got it exactly right.”” (Page 292)
Lydia is acting out a monologue for her mother; Alice, who no longer recognizes her daughter:
Google images, image sites:
Genova, Lisa. Still Alice. Gallery books, 2009. Print.
“She [Alice] remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short, didn't mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her,
See, they have a beautiful life
.” (Page 111)