Author Archives: katieebuugg

Johnson: Analysis 5- Curious Incident

This week I will be the first to say that I absolutely loved this book, and it was by far my favorite piece we’ve covered this semester. There were a few things in this book that made me like it so much. First, it was narrated by a younger individual which I am a big fan of stories narrated by children. Also, I loved all of the thoughts and insight the book had. Again, I’m a big fan of books that really give you a look into how the person is viewing things, and gives you personal thoughts and feelings right from that individual’s brain. One more thing I really enjoyed in this story was the fact that even though the narrator was an autistic boy, I felt as if this was the first piece we have covered that seemed extremely realistic to me. Christopher did not have a certain “super power”, was not perceived as a character that makes everyone feel better, etc. I really felt as if I was inside Christopher’s mind and was his shadow throughout the whole book, which was really cool to me.

I knew my thoughts and feelings on this book, but I was curious about how other people felt about the story. I searched “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time reviews” on Google to see what I came up with. A source that quickly caught my eye was one that was titled “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time opens on Broadway”. This was intriguing to me because as I was reading the book I often thought about how this story could be portrayed in a movie or even a play. As I was reading the reviews about the show, I concluded that it was quite different than the book. I suspected this, because it is hard to take a book that is written in first person narrative and turn it into a movie or production.

One final observation I made while reading this piece was the fact that I noticed everything we had been learning up until this point in the semester was suddenly coming full circle. What I mean by that is in the book, there were numerous references made by Christopher of pieces that we had already studied or other pieces we had talked about in class. For example, Sherlock Holmes was a big reference throughout, but there were some other ones too such as Star Trek, and even Blade Runner. I liked in the story how Christopher compared himself to Sherlock Holmes because I in a sense was comparing him to Holmes before he had even mentioned it himself. I picked up on the fact that Christopher was very into math and very good at it. That was his “power” if you were to call it that. Christopher’s references were also reassuring to me as to how and why individuals with autism can relate to those sources so closely.

This to me was a wonderfully written story, and an even better insight as to how children (and even others) with autism see the world in a more unique way than those who see it in a neurotypical sense.

Citations:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/may/24/booksforchildrenandteenagers.bookerprize2003

Johnson- Analysis 4 One Flew, Part 2

After finishing “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, I decided to do some extended research on a component of the novel that has had me puzzled since the beginning of last week’s reading: the title. There are obvious reasons why I didn’t understand the title last week, because we had not been introduced to the short little rhyme that includes it. However, even though I now know the rhyme associated with the title, I still wanted to dig deeper as to why Ken Kesey chose that for the title of the novel.

Before researching any other analytical opinions on the title, I wanted to do some thinking of my own. I tried to see if I could make any connections with the title literally, which was hard for me to do. No one flies, there really isn’t anything in the story that has to do with birds or nests, and a cuckoo isn’t mentioned, only in the short rhyme. It was easier for me to make connections figuratively rather than literally. I thought about flying again and that really didn’t seem to fit anywhere that I could think of right off the bat. However, the word “cuckoo” had me thinking of someone that was perhaps “a little coo-coo” if you have ever heard that saying. I’m not sure if that was a stretch or not, so I wanted to do some research to find out what other people thought.

As soon as I searched “meaning behind the title of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, many results came my way. I was intrigued by the one source that was from shmoop.com titled “Analysis: What’s Up With the Title?”. The short analysis gave a brief summary of where the title was present in the text, and what it came from. Then the author of the analysis went on to suggest that “Flying over the cuckoo’s nest is probably a way of expressing that someone is crazy (think back to elementary school when you’d call people “cuckoo” as an insult).” This was similar to what I had suggested before doing any research. Reading into some other sources, I found that someone on scholieren.com suggested that ” The cuckoo’s nest is the hospital and the one who flew over it is McMurphy.” In my own analysis of this idea, I would suggest that McMurphy flies over the nest because he is one that is always pushing the limits and testing the authorities within the hospital.

I’m glad that I was able to find a variety of thoughts on why Ken Kesey chose the title he did, and I was also glad that I felt I had enough ties to create my own thoughts on it as well. After reading the second section for this week, the title of this novel makes more sense.

Sources:

http://www.scholieren.com/boekverslag/54107

http://www.shmoop.com/one-flew-over-cuckoos-nest/title.html

 

Johnson, K.- Analysis 3

When doing my weekly analysis, I first like to read the blog posts from other people to try and touch on something that someone else hasn’t already covered. This week, that task was hard because I felt much similar to how Ashleigh was describing her feelings while reading these Silberman chapters. Any time Hitler or the Holocaust is brought up I (like many other people I’m sure) get very uncomfortable and angry. From previous history classes I of course already knew that Hitler and his “people” treated those with mental issues very poorly (poorly being an understatement). So, for my extended research this week I decided to dive in further with that idea and researched Hitler and how “autistic” people with other mental disabilities were treated. The first site I reached was another open blog site, with a proposed question: “How were autistic people treated in Nazi Germany?”. Seven bloggers decided to tackle the question. The first gentleman who responded decided to give a little history lesson with some detailed background. Just like Silberman wrote about in chapter 3, this blogger talked about how if the individuals who showed any sign of mental disability, they were lucky if they had the opportunity to land in Dr. Asperger’s clinic with Sister Viktorine. The man went on to say that, “In general, though, the Nazi approach – which Asperger abhorred – was to eliminate anyone deemed to be “defective” because they were seen as a waste of valuable resources better spent on looking after wounded soldiers” (Quora). Many other individuals touched on the same historic facts, but only a few mentioned Asperger and his outlook on the situation. One individual on the site mentioned that, “Hans Asperger  the doctor he identified the set of symptoms now associated with Asperger’s Syndrome suggested that little German Aspies were so smart they could be very useful to the regime and should be so  used. How ironic!” (Quora). I decided to think a little about the idea of that. Since this class started, I’ve already learned so much more about Autism and the spectrum than I ever knew before. The variety of readings, (fictional and non) have helped me tremendously. Going off of the thought of having those with “special” mental characteristics, I do believe that some of them could have been placed to work based on the special abilities they possessed. Just by watching “Rain Man”, I now have a visual of how some people who are on the spectrum have such great abilities that others who are not on the spectrum could never dream of having. Bouncing back to the Silberman chapters, I really enjoyed getting a deeper history on Asperger and his history. I of course knew what Asperger’s was (before they changed it), but found myself knowing very little about the man behind the name of the syndrome. I feel like reading in detail about his thoughts and feelings (and even actions) on wanting to really figure out the why’s and how’s of people with special abilities very intriguing. All of those details gave me a better understanding on the man behind the discoveries.

Citations:

https://www.quora.com/How-were-autistic-people-treated-in-Nazi-Germany

Silberman, Steven. “NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity”

Johnson- Analysis 2: Sherlock Holmes

When I was first introduced to Sherlock Holmes I was in elementary school, but all I knew about him was that he was some kind of outstanding detective, and the best in the business. I never got too into his stories or anything like that, so growing up that’s pretty much all I knew about him. As I began reading “A Study in Scarlet”, I quickly began questioning Holmes and his personality. The part of the story that really caught my attention was towards the beginning when he was first introduced to Watson and seemed to have magically known (with no prior knowledge) that his “new friend” had just recently returned from Afghanistan. How does someone just know that? I was instantly skeptical, thinking that someone had told him, or since we are reading this book in a class based on autism in fiction that possibly this incident symbolized a special ability that Holmes possessed.

As I continued reading, I paused to do some side research. There were some instances regarding Holmes’ personality that could have been indicators that he was on the spectrum. Immediately I wanted to see what other people had to say about that. All I typed in to Google was “Sherlock Holmes autism” and of course a million sources popped up. However, most of those sources had to deal with the TV shows created about the fictional character. Still curious, I clicked on a few diverse links regarding the TV show and saw that people seemed to be torn on whether or not to diagnose a fictional character with autism or not. Then, I decided to dig a little deeper. I typed in “How can we tell that Sherlock Holmes had autism?” and I got similar results, but a few different ones. The one that caught my eye was a search title that read “Sherlock Holmes- Autism!!??!”. This turned out to be a blog-like site where people could state their opinions on whether or not Holmes was on the spectrum. I was intrigued, so I decided to read what people had to say. Many people were certain that he was on the spectrum, while others said they had never thought about his behavior as autistic behavior. Some people were completely against the idea saying that since the medical term “autism” wasn’t even in existence at the time the stories were written, there is no way he could be autistic. Others even pointed out that their teachers had taught them in school that Sherlock Holmes was autistic, so therefore they believed it was absolutely true with no questioning of it.

Deciding to throw my own opinion into the mix, I think it’s possible that Holmes could have been on the spectrum given that he did illustrate symptoms of autism through his detective work, and outside of it as well. However, I do think in some ways it is a long shot to say that certainly the author of the stories was trying to make readers see that there was something wrong with Holmes, and that he was different and excelled at different things for a reason. The idea is very interesting to think about, and I wouldn’t doubt that the author of the stories didn’t make Holmes’ character the way he did just for pure entertainment.

Citations:

www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1008954-autism 

 

Johnson, Analysis 1

Out of all the reading assigned for this week, I was most intrigued by Chapter 9- “The Rain Man Effect” (Silberman). I think I was specifically intrigued by this chapter because 1) We had just watched the film in class, and it was my first time ever watching it and 2) The chapter was very eye opening to me personally.

I was quite disturbed by the content in the chapter, but was also unfortunately not surprised. I was immediately disgusted at the way Bill (the man introduced at the beginning of the chapter) and the other “inmates” were treated. They were referred to as “imbeciles” which I thought was not the right word at all. Sure, the different ways in which these people behaved was new and mind boggling to almost everyone during that time, but people were blindsided (and still tend to be) by the enormous amount of intelligence that each of them possessed. They may not all be what we call “street smart”, but most have some outstanding qualities that simply go unnoticed simply because they’re “different”.

I’m glad that stories like Bill’s have gotten out over the years and have been talked about in the film industry. Nowadays, and I’m sure during the time period in which “Rain Man” was released as well, people tend to relate a lot personally to media. Many individuals connect everyday life situations to things they see in the movies, on TV, or what they read in a magazine. Also, sadly enough people tend to believe almost everything they hear on TV or see in the latest movie, especially ones that deal with real life situations. That is why I think “Rain Man” was so successful and eye-opening to many. In the part of the chapter where Silberman discusses the idea of the movie which at the time lacked a producer, I can see where the wishy washy behaviors of the potential producers came from. I think the producers wanted to take on the challenge of the content in this film because they knew it would amount to something great for society, but I also think many were scared because they didn’t want to give the new found disorder a false outlook.

Although the film ended up becoming very successful, there were some individuals who were unclear of the overall message the film was trying to give. Since autism was so unfamiliar to most, people weren’t grasping the idea of why Raymond was acting the way he was in the movie and why he couldn’t correct his behaviors. Since I know very little about autism myself, I decided to do some research on some of these comments and began browsing different reviews on the movie. I stumbled upon a short, yet to the point review from someone who has a son with autism. The review I read was from 2011, so fairly recent. In the review, the author who like I mentioned has an autistic son, makes some valid points. He wants to make it clear that every person who has autism is different. There are many levels to the disorder, ranging from individuals who are severely impacted and others whom you can barely tell have the disorder. He also made it very clear that people with autism and other disorders related to that are not put in institutions like Bill was in the beginning of chapter 9. The author of the review states,

“We don’t put people in institutions any more if there is any way we can help it. I know some people think that institutions are the “answer,” but that’s only true if the question is “how can we totally invalidate someone’s right to choice and due process.” If you don’t know someone with autism, try introducing yourself. You might make a lifelong friend.” (Raynelson).

This alone stood out to me. I have observed that many people tend to be awkward around others who show the slightest bit of difference in the way they are because they don’t know how to respond or react to their unique qualities. Chapter 9 of the text gave me a different outlook on it as well. I look at autism as an opportunity to explore a unique perspective on life and how others live. Just by watching “Rain Man” and reading some of the articles related to the film, I have learned that the aspects of autism are so intriguing and special and I am really looking forward to learning more about it more in this class.

 

Citations

Raynelson. “Autism Movie Review: Rain Man.” Raynelson’s Autism Blog. N.p., 31 Aug.

  1. Web. 09 Sept. 2016.

Silberman, Steve. Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity.

Place of Publication Not Identified: Avery Pub Group, 2016. Print.