My Left Foot Essay, Research Paper
The story My Left Foot, by Christy Brown, is a very courageous and touching story. This story is about Christy s life as he struggled with cerebral palsy. Christy has to learn to write, read, paint and type with his left foot. Though Christy fights with this disease, he manages to become a great writer. Because Christy has cerebral palsy he encounters many negative changes in his life which all changes when he finds the clinic. Life would be very difficult not being able to do most daily functions. Christy Brown was born in 1932 in Dublin, Ireland. As you might guess, prenatal and delivery care was crazy for the kids of poor families at that time, and there obviously weren’t any electronic monitors. In fact, prenatal care is still crazy for most poor people in Ireland, as shown by their rather high incidence of cerebral palsy. (In the case of Christy’s family, his mother was pregnant 22 times, but only 13 of the children survived.)The book begins in 1959, but leaps back to 1932 with Christy’s arrival into a family of 13 children. From the start, they assumed that Christy is mentally as well as physically impaired, and for his early years, he’s plopped on a blanket under the stairs where he can listen in on the family rabble. Unable to express himself, Christy wriggles on the floor, silent pleadings with his eyes. As a child, people who don t understand that he has a bright mind in a disabled body call him a half-wit . As a child, he finally makes it known to his parents that a lot is happening in his mind, by scratching out the word “MOTHER” on the floor with chalk held in his left foot. One day, though, while his sister is struggling with a math problem, Christy grasps a shard of chalk between his toes and scribbles out the answer, only to be misunderstood and, once again, assumed to be an idiot. As Christy ages he finds that his life is brought through many changes. Christy starts to find that he didn t fit in with the rest of his brothers. He becomes very depressed when his chariot brakes, Then one day my chariot broke I was lost without it . Another time he becomes depressed was when his crush Jenny, gives him a look of pity. His life was pretty much going down the drain until he finds the clinic. As an adult, he is in love with the female doctor who was responsible for much of his rehabilitation, but is rejected by her. The obvious pain he feels as he tells her that he’s tired of platonic love, that he’s tired of being denied the expression and pleasure of his sexuality simply because his twisted body doesn’t work like the average person’s, is a real choker. Later, as he grows older and he begins working with an attractive young doctor to sharpen his ability to talk, we see these torments deepen into a soulful, adult suffering. Christy becomes happier and less self-conscious. Doctor Collis helps Christy very much, he teaches Christy how to write a story. He shows Christy how not to use old English when writing. Another way that Dr. Collis helps Christy, is that he puts him through physiotherapy which helps him a little. This gives Christy a little hope. With Christy feeling better he continued to learn about writing a story and begins a novel. These new disappointments are different from his earlier ones, and as his relationship with this doctor grows and he becomes more articulate, his mother begins to fear that his hopes of a normal life, with expectations of a normal love life and a family, will be raised only to be cruelly dashed. When the crash finally arrives, Christy is overwhelmed and resolves to kill himself, and if there is an image in movies more devastating than the sight of him struggling to slash his wrists with a razor clenched between his toes, I haven’t seen it.
Christy’s life as a man was not easy. He was willfull and arrogant, and right from the first time he tasted whiskey he knew there was at least one way to escape from the cage of his body. Like all men, he desired love, and there is a heartbreaking sequence in which he develops a crush on a teacher who works with him on speech therapy and loves Christy, but not in the romantic way that he imagines. Learning of her engagement, he creates a scene in a restaurant that in the power of its hurt and anger is almost unbearable. He drank more. He was demanding. Like all bright people forced to depend on others, he was filled with frustration. A woman did finally come into his life, a nurse who became his wife and loved him until the end, but by then happiness was conditional for Christy, because he was an alcoholic. Since he could not obtain booze on his own since it had to be brought to him and provided to him – there is the temptation to ask why his loved ones didn’t simply shut him off. But of course that would have been a cruel exploitation of his weakness, and then, too, Christy was a genius at instilling guilt. “My Left Foot” is a great book for many reasons, but the most important is that it gives us such a complete picture of this man’s life. It is not an inspirational book, although it inspires. It is not a sympathetic book, although it inspires sympathy. It is the story of a stubborn, difficult, blessed and gifted man who was dealt a bad hand, who played it brilliantly, and who left us some good books, some good paintings and the example of his courage. It must not have been easy. Because of Christy s disease, cerebral palsy, he became very depressed at times, although when he found the clinic he his life changes in a positive way. Christy works hard on his writing and painting even though he has to use his left foot. Because of his hard work and dedication he becomes a very talented writer. It doesn t matter who you are, you can do anything if you put your mind to it.