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Henrietta Lacks

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by

Taylor Bowman

on 18 April 2013

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Transcript of Henrietta Lacks

Perspective 0 + - = 9 8 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 c By Taylor Bowman Graphic Detail Skloot used vivdly, sometimes sickeningly graphic, detail to portray the lives of the Lacks family. From Henrietta's self diagnosis in her bathtub, to the "skin from [her] breasts to her pelvis... charred a deep black.", to the vile treatment of Elsie and other patients at the asylum. She left out none of the details, no matter how sickening, angering, or suprising they were. Photographs The photos placed in the center of the book show, in graphic detail, the hardships of the lives of the Lacks family. through the pictures, you can see the unaltered representation of poverty and racism in 20th century America. They clearly state the fractured views of the medical world and the public, relating them back to Henrietta, through sight alone. The Family Through her writing, Skloot was unbiased and effectively included opinions from both sides of the story.


Thorough interviews, detailed descriptions, and hours of research bring to light the extent of the trauma brought to the Lacks family. There is no extent to which she would not go to bring the family justice. Doctor's Skloot also brought in the doctors' rationalizations. She recognized the merit of HeLa cells in the medical science, and understood the practices which gave them right to use patients for the greater good of society. Show Don't Tell Skloot took vivid notes on every experience. From the exciting prayer session in Clover, to the harrowing arrival of 9/11, she left nothing out. The fear, and longing, and joy, and various other emotions felt by everyone she encountered was evident. She also included every detail, no matter how gruesome, such as when describing the childhoods of the Lacks family, or the treatment of minorities in America. Skloot exemplified the rule "Show, Don't Tell"-narrating solely through details and real, straight facts- through The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, as she created the characters in her book. Uncensored Show Don't Tell A Prezi focused on the work of Rebecca Skloot, and her work on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks And Sarah Holder Development THrough the use of vivid detail and true to life quotations, Skloot developed major characters, including George Gey, Henrietta, Deborah, and Zakariyya. SHe accurately develops the character of Deborah through the countless recollections of research trip, every reaction to every record, and articularly the passage which retells the night in the hotel, when Deborah was in and out throughout the night. She also developed Henrietta through the long, emotional retelling of her journey from childhood in the Lacks Homehouse to death. She used harrowing events to make her a significant character as when she described Henrietta's hard childhood, or her struggle with cervical cancer. Zakariyya's temper and defiance can be seen through the passage that begins "[His] apartment was a small studio with a sliver of a kitchen.." (page 247). You can also see his caring and compassion through the passage where skloot describes his reaction to Deborah's grandson being at his apartment. She also develops the character of George Gey through her description of his career and his life with his wife. A tinkerer and innovatist, she recognizes his merit in the utilization of HeLa, but also sees him as a person.
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