HELa Essay

Topics: Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot, Past tense Pages: 2 (729 words) Published: January 7, 2015
Michael Wilbanks04-19-2014

I concentrated heavily on the 2nd chapter in the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks due to how it introduced the background of this woman we know so little about. In this whole chapter, you get a detailed background of how she met her husband, Day, as well as her official birth name and how she became accustomed to tobacco farming. I found this chapter to also be the easiest of all thirty to complete SOAPStone on, as it was easier for me to annotate, and it lets you know about the life of the woman who led to one of the most amazing medical discoveries.

The speaker in the pages (18-26) was the author, Rebecca Skloot. In the passage there is no first person point of view, or no mention of the words I, us, me, or my. Skloot doesn’t really show proof of being biased in her words, only stating true facts about Lacks. She describes how she met her soon to be husband (5th paragraph, pg.19) and even her life in the fields (pg.20-26). Skloot makes the reader feel as if they knew Henrietta with her use of description and heavy research.

Although this is a piece of nonfiction, I could tell her encouragement to write this piece was not of force, but of interest. Just by how she includes facts like “Henrietta was born Loretta Pleasant” (Chapter 2, page 18, paragraph 1) lets me know that she put time into researching her topic. I feel as if she wanted enough research to tell the story as if she really knew Henrietta. I don’t think the occasion was to show just how much she knew, but also how much she put into this work, and to show us the happenings in the life of Lacks.

Seeing as she uses medical terms and even some difficult to pronounce words, I could see clearly as this wasn’t written for a five year old. I feel as though it was written for your average high school or college student looking to research medical history using a source that provided straightforward facts,...
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