Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Reflection : The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

After finishing The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I have mixed reactions about the book. On a good note, I think the book is particularly well written, even without consideration to the process in which the memoir was written. With consideration to the situation, it is exceptional. I cannot imagine memorizing so many words, so many paragraphs, so many pages; that man must have had huge brain capacity. On top of that, the patience it must have took, for both Jean Bauby and those actually writing down his story, is incredible. Most would have gotten too frustrated to even finish half a page, maybe not even a sentence. It is inspirational to know the handicaps one man can actually handle and remain at ease. Although I think the process of writing this memoir is absolutely amazing, I did not find the book to be all too enjoyable. Sure, some passages were interesting, but for the most part, I found this book to be a bit monotonous. This could be because I don’t really want to understand what it’s like to have a stroke and be paralyzed, but I do believe that Bauby could have done a better job at making something exciting or surprising happen, even if that is not the story of his life. Accordingly, I found almost everything before the chapter where he tells about the day of his stroke kind of irrelevant, with the exception of maybe his daily routine in the hospital. The flash backs, in my opinion, were completely irrelevant and also unorganized as they kind of just started, without a warning. Basically, I did not think the book hit a climax, or even headed anywhere. Maybe this is a problem with most memoirs, or maybe just his; but I couldn’t be the judge, as I have not read enough memoirs to know. To sum up, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly had a few good components and some not so good components, but as far as I am concerned, the bad outweighs the good.

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