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Response to the book “The Body’s Memory” Essay

The recollection made by a person with disability or PWD of the most painful things which her body felt and experienced was explicitly depicted in the 1993 book of Jean Stewart entitled “The Body’s Memory. ” The most notable aside from the clear presentation of the true condition and emotions of PWD, however, is the remarkable realization exemplified by the character. The character’s clear yet flexible and uncomplaining reminiscence of the pains and sacrifices of her body which was afflicted and removed with tumor was the ultimate significance of the book.

This is because a PWD’s acceptance of the undeniable or irreversible state of her body strongly manifests that indeed the physical condition serves as the lasting reminder of disability. However, it is the will and the desire to overcome such disability which will ultimately allow a PWD to continue living. Stewart’s first appearance in the literary world showcased the character of a 30-year-old woman named Kate Meredith who recounted her body’s management and survival three years after a tumor was removed from her hip.

Through the course of the recollection, Meredith’s body was faced with and most importantly reminded of its inevitable limitations resulting from the surgery which eventually made her a disabled person for the rest of her life (Stewart, 1989). The preface alone already hinted both the disposition and worth of this journal of one’s battle against her disability and ultimate triumph over the physical condition. As the journal went on, the author’s invitation led the readers into the painful yet struggling efforts of a lively and strong-willed English professor Meredith (Stewart, 1989).

Through the words of the author, the readers came in contact and had a peek of the kind of life that Meredith has lived following her tumor removal. Stewart allowed the public to be acquainted with the people around Meredith, to feel and sympathize with her physical and emotional sufferings and above all, witness her understanding or acceptance and eventual rise above her permanent physical condition (Stewart, 1989).

It is worthy to consider that the author has effectively presented the strong character of Meredith whose memory or precise account of her body’s pain caused by disability surprisingly paved the way for the meeting of two worlds, that of the normal people and persons with disability. In order to thoroughly feel the personal battle fought by Meredith, the author’s use of the journal type as the writing structure has succeeded for the character to vividly recall the pains suffered by her body.

Additionally, the said literary form has efficiently conveyed the essence of the story, which is the acceptance of the body’s memory of disability suffering as well as the eventual realization of the existing disability and improvement towards the reality of living independently. The Meredith journal, as written by Stewart, is a concrete proof of a triumphant tale of a PWD whose body will definitely always remember the pain. However, she used such memory as a tool to overcome her limitation and started living on her own.

The book is an ideal chronicle from the point of view of a previously normal person who was faced with the reality of never to walk once more. It is one of the best works that depicted a different perspective about the everyday happenings in the life of a person with disability. Utilizing the vehicle of journal writing, the author invited the readers to the world of a PWD and succeeded in making both her main character and the public experience all the emotional confusions, physical battle, disappointments, bravery, apprehension, self-pity and rejection.

In doing so, Meredith’s eventual realization of herself and her new-found liberty has turned the book into a remarkable literary work. An ultimate response to the book is that it is a well recommended story for both normal people and persons with disability because of its generalized reminder that life has to continue beyond the event of a disability. Reference Stewart, J. (1989). The Body’s Memory. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

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