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Show, Don't Tell

How Rebecca Skloot exemplifies the rule of "show, don't tell" as she developes the characters Henrietta, Deborah, and George.
by

Irisbel Mitchell

on 22 April 2013

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Transcript of Show, Don't Tell

What the text says:
"Gey still got excited at moments like this, but everyone else in the lab saw Henrietta's samples as something tedious-the latest of what felt like countless samples that scientists and lab technichians had been trying and failing to grow for years." Page 33, Chapter 3 What the text says:
"....and deep sinks Gey made by hand using stones he collected from a nearby quarry." Page 34, Chapter 4
".....Mary carried them [HeLa cells] to the incubator that Gey built just like he'd built everything else in the lab by hand and mostly from junkyard scraps, a skill learned from a life time of making do with nothing" Page 38, Chapter 4 Written By: Amber Ackermann & Irisbel Mitchell Show Don't Tell An inside on how Rebecca Skloot exemplifies the rule "Show, Don't Tell," on the characters: Henrietta Lacks, Deborah Lacks, & George Gey. Dr. George Gey: Head of tissue-culture research at Johns Hopkins. He developed the techniques used to grow HeLa cells from Henrietta's cancer tissue in his lab. Henrietta Lacks: Wife of: David "Day" Lacks
Mother of: Deborah, David Jr., Elsie, Joe,& Lawrence Lacks Deborah "Dale" Lacks: Henrietta & Day's Fourth Child What The Book Doesn't Tell You About Henrietta Lacks:
What the text says:
"After her visit to Hopkins, Henrietta went about life as usual, cleaning, and cooking for Day, their children, and their many cousins who stopped by." Page 27, chapter 3.
"Henrietta didn't tell anyone what Jones had said, and no one asked. She simply went with her day as if nothing had happened, which was just like her - no sense upsetting anyone over something she could deal with herself" Page 31, Chapter 3.
What we can infer:
Henrietta cared about her family. She knew something was wrong with her and she kept it to herself, going on like it was a regular day to insure that her family was happy instead of worrying about something that she thought would be over with after a couple of radiation treatments.
What the text says:
"When school let out each day, and anytime it wasn't in session, Henrietta was in the fields with Day and the cousins."
"If the weather was nice, when they finished working, the cousins ran straight to the swimming hole they made each year by damming the creek ...."
"At night fall they the cousins built fires with pieces of old shoes to keep the mosquitoes away.......They played tag, ring-around-the-rosy and hopscotch, and danced around the field singing until Grandpa Tommy yelled for everyone to come in." Page 20, Chapter 2
What we can infer:
Henrietta was close to her family. She grew up around family, spent all her time with them, and even ended up marrying someone in her family. What the book doesn't tell you about George Gey: What we can infer:
George Gey was persistent and had hope that he could still come across a cell line that would turn immortal. Everyone else in the lab seemed to have given up, yet he pressed forward. What we can infer:
Not only was Dr. Gey creative in his ability to form scientific equipment out of junkyard scraps but he was also thrifty. He made items with his own hands on account that he was making something new or, since he grew up making do with nothing, he brought that life style to work with him. What the book doesn't tell you about Deborah: What the text says: What we can infer: "And Deborah started handing out newsletters about her mother and the cells, saying, 'I just want y'all read what's on this paper! And tell everybody! Bring it around. We want everybody in the world to know about my mother." Page 206, Chapter 25
"Day got a check for $12,000, and gave $2,000 to each of his children. Deborah used hers to buy a small piece of land in Clover, so she could someday move down to the country and live near her mother's grave." Page 208, Chapter 26
"Deborah grabbed her bag off the floor, and dumped its contents onto the bed. "This is what i got about my mother," she said, pointing to a pile on the bed. There were hours of unedited videotapes from the BBC documentary, a tattered English dictionary, a diary, a genetics textbook, many scientific journal articles, patent records......" Page 235, Chapter 29 Deborah always wanted to learn more about her mother and wanted other people to know how great she was. None of the Lacks family really wanted to look into Henrietta's cells and wanted nothing to do with them because of there bad experience in the situation. But Deborah always wanted to know more about her mother since no one would tell her anything. So she took matters into her own hands by collecting anything she could about her mother and helping Rebecca Skloot when she said she was writing a book about Deborah's mother. Over the book, The Immortal Life of Hentrietta Lacks Thank You For Watching! Rebecca Skloot exemplifies the rule "Show, Don't Tell" by showing you the actions of the characters and not directly describing them with adjectives.
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