Let me start by saying that these last four chapters really stood out to me, now that does not mean that I anatomically like the book, but that i just really enjoyed the story in these chapters. Maybe its because there was more talk about what is going on in the mental hospital and that it ma connect to the future with Luciente.
An overall theme i am seeing here is that there is a connection to science and the the doctors work at the hospital. In our last class Professor Belli asked us how do other people in the story look at Connie and i automatically thought of the doctors. I thought of how they look at Connie and the other patients as nothing more then a project or an experiment. ” We already have your brothers signature on the permission form.” Acker told her. “But we want your permission too. We want you to understand how we are going to help you.” (pg 209) This is where we first see the doctors are trying to get Connie to agree to the procedure that was done on Alice. I feel like this really shows how the doctors really feel that even if Connie said no they still had the OK to operate and that they were going to. “And a chance to get my brains scrambled like Alice”, ” In two months Alice will be home Connie, If you leave us you think you will be home in two months?”(pg 209) This back and forth with Connie and Acker made me feel that the doctors may actually know what they are doing and that they might be able to help Connie, but i still have that feeling of an experiment because this surgery is brand new and it is still being tested. “Motherf***ker, you let me up! I ain’t no guinea pig!” (pg 195)This shows how wrong this is because they are treating these sick patients like nothing more then lab rats.
“lots of talent in your field are working to retrain sexual inversion with electroshock keyed to slides and films” Redding was saying to Acker. ” but the recidivism rate isn’t promising. if we could cure inversion surgically, we’d open up a whole new area” (pg 258) While i was reading this i felt like this really showed the doctors true colors and that it really shows how they look at patients, they almost see them as a less then an a experiment but more like a disease or a sickness on our society and that they had to be cure in some way to be normal. It also felt like the doctors wanted to do this to be remembered as people who changed the world in some way or made it a better place for the future society’s. I feel like in some way they were playing god as they were taking what was wrong and redesigning it in a better image. Later on in the story we see what is happening to Skip and Connie says ” He moved differently: Clumsily. It was as if he had finally agreed to imitate the doctor’s course, clumsy masculinity for a time, but it was mastery with them and humility with him. He moved like a robot not expertly welded.” This description of Skip is a perfect example of how they tested on a lab rat and they are getting the results they wanted, however it also reminded me of people in the future for some reason and how they are are so perfect and on task its almost like this experiment was eventually mastered to make society in there definition of better. It also in my mind somewhat explains why scientist are so important in the future society.
We learn that Skip had been doing so good that they let him go home to his parents for a weekend to see how he did in real society. “Sunday morning early, Skip had slit his throat with an electric knife in the kitchen of his parents home.” When i read this i thought immediately about the doctors reaction to the news and that they would not feel anything but disappointment that one of there experiments had failed. Instead of feeling responsible for the death of a patient they would feel anger for not finding the cure for the problems of the society in the patients. That Skip was nothing more to them now then just a failed experiment.
These four chapters made me realize that a lot of this book is based on science. I guess it was harder to realize since the previous chapters did not interest me that much, but science is a very important overall theme is this book and it all connects with the doctors trying fix people all the way to 2137 where people are all united as one and scientist play a big role in society. So maybe just maybe Connie isn’t crazy and the future she visits really exists.