More Than Just the Disease

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  • Topic: The Middletons
  • Pages : 3 (902 words )
  • Download(s) : 570
  • Published : October 8, 1999
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By close reference to "More Than Just The Disease", show what feelings you have for Neil in the course of the story. What lessons do you suppose he has learned by the end of it?

In the story, "More than Just the Disease", Neil who was away from home for a holiday with the Middleton family experienced and learned much. The best part was how Neil managed to take the first step of overcoming his shyness, not to "suffer from more than just the disease".

At the start of the story, we come face to face with the dominance of Neil's mother. "Be tidy at all times, then no one can surprise you" and "A little too ornate for my taste-vulgar almost" shows that Neil's mother does not just exist in planning everything for him("although he had been reluctant because of this very thing, she had insisted he could not turn down an invitation from the doctor's family"), she had embedded herself in Neil's thoughts, even to the end of the story like, "Close your mouth when you're eating, please. Others have to live with you" and " It will teach you how to conduct yourself in good society", all highlighted in italics. This brings about irritation and annoyance as Neil is really a "Mama's boy". He does not seem to have a mind of his own and lacked the moral courage to be his own personality. This is worrying as this dominance of his mother may stay with him all his life. I am, to a certain extent, angry with Neil, for being so easily dominated by his mother, and not by his own self. It is rather disappointing of a protagonist.

The continuous excuses given by Neil ("Too cold", "I told you I can't swim", "No, it's too cold") shows his defences to cover up his disease, psoriasis as he is inferior about it. This is understandable as he is fearful of being found out and shunned by everyone. ("If there is one thing he couldn't abide it was to be laughed at") I sympathize with him as it is indeed unfortunate to have the disease and...
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