This article is about a 58 year old man, Tony Nicklinson, who suffered from a stroke seven years ago. He has a condition called “locked-in syndrome” (LIS), a rare state where one’s mind is still intact but their bodies are paralyzed. Mr. Nicklinson communicates through an electronic board or a special computer. He claims that his life is dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable. With these negative thoughts constantly lingering within him, he believes that he has the right to die and his wife supports this crazy idea. In the film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby has the same condition.
Although he is completely paralyzed with no hope of recovery, he’s able to move his left eyelid. This slight movement in his eye is very significant because it’s his one way of communication. With every blink, comes a step closer to spelling a word. Although there’s a huge shift in lifestyle for Jean-Do, he continued to, with patience, dictate words letter by letter. Every blink means something and he is able to create his own memoir. I believe that having Jean-Do’s family and friends motivation contributed to his accomplishments after the incident.
Jean-Do and Nickleson are going through similar struggles but the way that they deal with them is like night and day. The difference is that Jean-Do is able to accept his inabilities. The viewer is able to recognize that he accepts his illness when he laughs at the guys who made a joke when they came to hook up the telephone. With that being said, Nicklinson doesn’t seem to accept it because like I stated above, he believes that he has the right to die and is fighting in court about it. I find it completely heart breaking that one (Mr. Nicklinson) would want to fight for the right to end his life.
This shows that he cannot accept the life he is living due to the many restrictions in life. But regardless of how difficult life may be, I’m a firm believer that death should never be an option. When times are rough, everyone must fight through each struggle because good always prevails. It is said that God only throws difficult tasks at you because he knows you can overcome them. Although, there are times when people forget this and this is why everyone has friends and family around – to reassure them of their strengths and ability to overcome every struggle.
But the fact that Nicklinson’s wife supports his idea of death is beyond saddening. She’s not encouraging him to live his life and be grateful that he’s alive! She should be motivating him to fulfill any dream that he has, not reminiscing about the kind of person that he was before. The whole point is that he has changed and is struggling, so she should be there for him and show him that he’s still capable of doing many things. One who has watched The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and then reads this article can likely say that the lesson of the film is to prove that even if you’re ill, any dream can be achieved.
With determination, support and patience, impossible is nothing. “The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will. ” Is a quote that I found while surfing google and it’s safe to say that Jean-Do created something that will live forever. And through his success, he has also impacted many lives of those are ill by proving that no goal is unreachable. I hope that whoever watches this film will learn from it, whether they are ill or not. Always strive until your goal is accomplished – there’s no better way to leave the world than to know that you never gave up while trying fulfill your dream.