It Happened To Nancy Essay, Research Paper
This book is a diary that goes through the last two years of a young teenage girl?s life,
who got infected with the HIV virus after being date raped . The girl in the book is
named Nancy and she is important enough to have her diary published because her life
went from being a normal teenage girl with normal problems, to an abnormal girl with
AIDS and abnormal problems. She agreed to have her diary published so that other
people who think that AIDS and rape can?t ever happen to them can have a different
The times in which this diary takes place is from April 14, 1991 to April 12,1993.
the book starts out when Nancy is getting ready to go to a Garth Brooks concert with her
friends El and Red, ?Imagine me going to a concert! A Garth Brooks concert!? (p.3), and
ends two days before she dies, ?Nancy died in her sleep April 12th two days after her last
In Nancy?s diary the places that impacted her life were:- at her home in South
Carolina with her mother, friends and boyfriend, in Phoenix, Arizona with her dad, and in
Idaho with her Aunt Thelma. Nancy mostly loved to stay with her mother, but then had to
leave for her mother?s good.
Her home in South Carolina is normal. Her mother was a real-estate agent, so
they didn?t see each other that much. Her friends, El, Red, Dorie and Lew, are all part of
a group called the ?gaggle?, which means talkative or a group of geese. Lew is of coarse
the ?gander?, meaning the male goose, of the gaggle and Nancy?s boyfriend. Nancy?s
friends are apart of her life in the biggest way possible, ?I?ll miss the gaggle, they are like
my sisters and not my brother? (p.174).
In Phoenix, Arizona she lives with her dad during the summer. Her dad loves her
dearly, he is a very protective and caring figure in her life, ?Dad lovingly but firmly told
me that if I don?t eat every two hours he is going to take me directly to the hospital?
She spent her last couple of months with her aunt Thelma in Idaho. Her aunt was
the biggest influence in her life. Her aunt taught her how to see even the smallest things
and memorize them and paint them or describe them to her aunt as if her aunt was blind,
?Aunt Thelma had me close my eyes and describe the picture of the tiny garden in the
smallest detail? (p.198).
Many people influenced Nancy?s life from her aunt Thelma, who taught her
self-discipline, to her three doctors, Dr. Sherian, Dr. Marx, and Dr. B, who all taught her
about AIDS and how to deal with it. Her parents really weren?t an influence in her life
because they were too busy with their own.
Nancy didn?t really accomplish anything in the last two years of her life. She was
too busy with AIDS and her rape situation. She did accomplish though to have her book
published, which happened the last week of her life. A lady by the name of Dr. B came to
Idaho and talked to Nancy about publishing her diary and Nancy agreed with delight,
? Aunt Thelma excused herself and went up to the house, leaving me and Dr. B to talk
about my book? (p.213).
The biggest disappointment of Nancy?s life was when she got raped. This affected
her a lot because other than the fact that her self-esteem had gotten very low, but it left
her with AIDS, and having AIDS changed her life socially, mentally and physically.
AIDS really changed Nancy?s social life when everyone found out about it.
Everyone was going out of their way to be nice to her. Then that all stopped and people
started teasing her, by pushing each other close to her and telling her to kiss that person
and give them her ?special something?. The only people that stayed nice to her after they
found out that she had AIDS was the gaggle.
Mentally she was breaking down. She always cried and thought that everything
was her fault from her parents divorce, to her being raped, to her having AIDS, ?I?m
going nuts? (p.139).
Physically she was slowly starting to lose weight , at one point she was 61
pounds, and also was losing energy. She became pale and fragile, ?I passed a full-length
mirror……and the creature that looked back at me was like something from a horror flick!
Stringy hair!……sunken eyes and big ugly black things starting on my face and neck?
In the last two years of her life Nancy was strong even though at times her
weaknesses took over. She had to be strong in order to deal with AIDS and her rape
situation, which were all far from gone. On her sixteenth birthday her friend El had a
party for her and they went to the movies and right in the middle of the movie she wet
herself, right there in her seat. She thought she was going to die, but she pulled herself
together in the end, ?Everyone, everyone in the whole place, would witness my
humiliation……my pain, my shame? (p.143), ?I?ll be all right? (p.145).
Nancy?s favorite saying or quote is ?think about that tomorrow?, which she found
by reading a book written by a lady named Scarlett. She would use that quote when she
didn?t want to worry or think about the present problem or situation.
Dr.B was the person that wanted to publish Nancy?s diary. Nancy agreed and said
that her diary might help other people look at their life in another perspective and never
to say never, because they never know what will happen to them. It worked for me.