Body of Work Essay

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Montross describes the first day, when she gets the bone box. She thinks while she is walking with the box; “This used to be a person. I am carrying parts of a person in this box, and no one knows it. On the street, girls compliment one another’s shoes, and a man in his twenties sings Dylan n the curb for quarters.” (9) Montross has begun her journey to becoming a doctor. She first needs to learn about all the different bones in the body. I feel that as I read this passage about the bone box and all the bones, I could really picture all the bones in front of me.

Montross recalls, “Inside is a whole skull, at once eerie and beautiful. On close inspection the individual bones on the skull are visible, and their lines are fluid and lovely—the winging curl of the zygomatic bone that can be traced from the cheekbone to the ear, the bony hinge of jaw, the whorled external acoustic meatus, through which sounds travel to our brains.” (9) From an emotional standpoint, Montross shows that she enjoys examining the skull, even though she knows it once was part of a human. Montross knows that the skull can’t feel anything and that’s why she doesn’t mind examining the skull.

Montross describes the first time she ever walked into the lab and saw the cadavers. She describes it as, "I try to assess the form on the table without touching it, only looking at the way the thin, white, zippered plastic bag encases it, and I decide it must be a female form. Many of the bodies are unquestionably male, due to postmortem erections that make an odd tent shape in the bag." (18) Montross observes that some of the cadavers are males, while some cadavers you can't really tell until you open the bag. She figures out that her cadaver is a female by the shape the bag encases it. I can understand what Montross is saying and I can picture having to deal with it with her.

Montross can her people making jokes about their cadaver when she first goes into the lab, but she doesn't understand why...
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