Persons and Others

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CAITLYN DALY

The essay Persons and Others written by Lorraine Code reviews and responds to specific issues and details in the novel As We Are Now by May Sarton. As We Are Now is a novel about the struggles the elderly face when that time comes. The story is told from Miss Caro Spencer’s point of view, beginning when she is brought and left at a mediocre nursing home for the elderly. She tells about hardships of growing old from the mental, emotional and physical troubles. Caro is forced to stay at Twin Elms nursing home by her older brother John and his much younger wife Ginny, this is her only family and she feels some what betrayed by them. Her caretakers at Twin Elm are awful and treat her horribly as she explains through out the novel. Caro feels that they are trying to strip her of her pride and steal her soul as well as everything that makes her who she is.

Lorraine Code writes Persons and Others from a rather sympathetic point of view as she tells us in the first page and explains that her response may be extremely different if she had read As We Are Now from a different characters perspective. She states, “ My reading is a partial one in that I take the protagonist, the first person narrator, at her word about how things are for her; hence I work from a presumption of the veracity of her experiential reports. Were I to reread the novel from the position of a different character, my take on it might be quit different. But my purpose here is to try, from the standpoint of someone who is disempowered, to understand the moral requirements of situations where people have others in their care who are extraordinarily vulnerable to assaults upon their sense of self.” I believe this is Lorraine Code’s thesis, everything she covers in her essay can be related back to those three sentences. I agree with just about everything Code says in her response to the novel. She makes good points about how it is unjust that this elderly woman is having trouble maintaining...
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