– Part 1 Essay, Research Paper
When: January 1995
Peter Hobson (studying biomedical engineering at the University of Toronto) is invited to complete some of his forty-hour course requirement during a dissection of a dead person. The doctor amazes Peter. He looks at the patient, and before he was picked apart his pulse rate began to rise, and he seemed to grimace in pain as they made the opening incision. At that point, Myolock, a muscle relaxant was put into the body. When they continued with the incision, the patient s leg flexed, causing Peter to believe that he was still alive, although the doctor said it was normal. After all the cutting was over, the man had no internal organs, and now met Peter s definition of dead. He began to search for what legally dead means with his girlfriend, Cathy Churchill.
My Opinion: Starting the book in an operating room sets a dark atmosphere for the whole book. However, once Cathy enters, it seems that the author tried to offset Peter s sadness of the operation with his joy in being with Cathy. However, Peter is truly shaken by the whole operation.
When: February 2011
Cathy lost her passion for chemistry. She loved it so much, and then to lose it all of a sudden, it is weird. The whole chapter takes place at a bar, and Peter tries to fit in with her co-workers, but to no alluvial. Hans, a obese lover boy is the only co-worker that is looked at deeply, and Peter hates him with a passion. Hans is a loser , who hits on any one that moves, and gets no where. Peter asks Cathy to leave, and they return home. Peter goes to sleep and has nightmares of the surgery in chapter one. Cathy tries to comfort him.
My Opinion: This chapter had one point, and that was to show that Peter is still very disturbed by the surgery. Cathy is the same personality wise, but lost her love for chemistry.
When: February 2011
What happened: Peter reads an article in Biotechnology Today which says a company in California could make one immortal for twenty million dollars. Peter didn t believe in the possibility by he was fascinate by the idea. So he and Cathy went. Through the nano-machines fixing your DNA cells, it at least seems possible. After the conference, they went over to Cathy s parents house for dinner. Peter hates Ron, Cathy s father, but loves her mother, Bunny. Interesting play on words, Pizza Pizza became Food Food .
My Opinion: The explanation of how one can live forever was interesting. I enjoy the play on words.
When: August 2011
It seems the perfect marriage between Cathy and Peter is over. The whole chapter is in their living room. Cathy admits cheating with Hans, her lover boy co-worker. Not once, but three times. This tore Peter apart. He calls his friend, and left to see him as soon as he could.
My Opinion: The marriage seemed too perfect. I had an idea that something like that would happen, but not with Hans. He s such a loser. I don t think Peter will leave Cathy. A new character will appear in Chapter 5, Sarkar Muhammad, Peter s best friend.
When: later that night
He met Sarkar at Sonny Gotlieb s, a deli at Bathurst and Lawrence. Peter originally came to discuss Cathy, but could not bring himself to tell Sarkar. Maybe because Sarkar is Muslim, and he believes in arranged marriages. The night was very negative. Then Peter decided to change the subject to his dreams and how he would prevent that from ever happening again to anyone. He would modify his EEG which reads electricity in the neurons in the brain, to read even more neurons, thus getting a better idea of the person s level of life.
My Opinion: I believe although Cathy cheated on Peter, he still does love her and that s why he couldn t bring himself to tell Sarkar. I like how they include the places in Toronto.
When: a day later
Peter approached Mrs. Fennell in a hospital, asking her if she would be a test subject for his Super EEG. After much debate, she agrees. Peter returns home, and finds himself sitting on the couch reading a novel when Cathy enters the room to join him. He just sat there, while she sat there. No movement, no noise. Peter began to cry, and admitted that he was terribly hurt by what Cathy did to him.
My Opinion: I feel bad for Peter. I can only imagine how he must be feeling. However, the scientific aspect of his life is greatly improved with Mrs. Fennell accepting the use of the machine. He might finally reach inner peace with the finding of what is actually dead, not just legally dead.
When: A week later
Cathy decided to enter counseling. The chapter begins with Cathy talking to Danita Crewson, a member of the Family Service Association. Danita points out that she cheated because her father was so cold to her, and now she has a low self-esteem. That night, she talked to Peter about the whole ordeal, and Cathy sister Melissa, is also in therapy. Peter agrees with Danita.
My Opinion: I believe it must have been difficult for Cathy to have done what she did, but blaming her father is the wrong thing to do. Peter also blames her mother, for not being a good female role model, but I believe that is also incorrect. By at lease she went for help and wants to save the marriage.
When: Next day
Peter met Sarkar again for dinner. They had pointless conversation during dinner. Peter leaves and goes home. Cathy and himself seem to be returning to better terms. Peter is called in to the hospital because Mrs. Fennell had a stroke and will die soon. Peter gets there just in time to hear her final thoughts, then a second stroke kills her. He takes the data from the Super EEG, and goes home to study it. He notices that the neurons in her brain move very quickly and then die out, shaped like a wave.
My Opinion: Almost a pointless chapter. The conversation was useless. But Peggy died, and the data he got would prove to be important.
When: that night
Peter wishes he could create a machine that can detect the level of sleep a person is in. He invited Sarkar over to study the data, and he is amazed.
My Opinion: Why is Sarkar so amazed?
When: that night
Peter notices that the lights(neurons) move towards Mrs. Fennell s temple. Sarkar believes it is the human soul leaving the body. An energy field surrounded the dead at the point of death, whether it stays is not been discovered. Sarkar tells Peter to go to the press, but Peter wants more solid evidence. He already has hooked up the Super EEG to other patients. He believes that he must prove that this happens to everyone. Sarkar still says he has proven that there is an after life.
My Opinion: this is becoming very controversial. I like it. But is the same thing happening to everyone.
When: September 2011
Peter meets Colin Godoyo for lunch. They discuss many personal matters, of which Peter tells nothing of himself. Colin ran the conversation. Peter disliked Colin, but was as polite as possible during the confrontation. Colin continued on, eventually bringing up the idea of ever lasting life, and the company in California that calms to be able to give it to you. Peter admits that the act could be possible, and that it would not be a complete waste of money for someone to do it, he just wouldn t understand why. Peter leaves, and then places more ads for possible Super EEG candidates. He offers ten thousand dollars per candidate, but he didn t feel right about offering so much money.
My Opinion: This was a plot building chapter. No events of real importance to this story happened in this chapter. However, just the idea that ever-lasting life is possible, is amazing, and shows a vivid imagination at work.
Peter takes his super EEG to a cattle slaughterhouse. He wishes to test the idea of souls in animals. Cows, however, turned up negative. He explores the idea that humans closest relative, chimps could have souls. If they were proven to have souls, the rules around animal testing would change as well. They would be considered just as human as everyone else, and thus, have the same rules as everyone else. Sarkar tells Peter than he can detect when the soul leaves the body, but can he detect when it enters the body? Peter had not thought of that.
My Opinion: How could he not think of that? What goes up, must come down, and what goes in, must come out. This will start a new conflict in the book.