More Than Just the Disease

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More than just the disease

Choose a novel or short story which deals with an important human issue: for example, poverty, war, family conflict, injustice, or any other issue you regard as important

More Than Just the Disease by Bernard MacLaverty is a short story which deals with the themes of class distinction, rights of passage and a person suffering mentally which effects the characters in the short story. There is conflict between the two main characters Neil and his mum. This short story gives you an insight into some problems which are a part of today’s society.

In the text Neil goes to stay with his friend Michael and his family and soon realises it is nothing like his own house. When it comes to bedtime Neil takes his pyjamas to the bathroom and buttoned his jacket right to the top. Here he is trying to hide his problem. Things like this happen throughout the story as Michael tries to get him to go swimming and Neil makes up a lot of excuses not to go this implies he doesn’t want anyone to know about his psoriasis. At the end Neil has a conversation with Mrs Wan, when he finds her cat and takes it back to her. He finds himself telling her all about his disease. After she reassures him that there is nothing wrong with it and he should not let it take control of his life -like his mum does- Neil comes to terms with his disease. Michael and Neil go swimming that night after Michael finds Neil with his shirt open and shows that it doesn’t bother him. . Neil’s mum puts a lot of pressure on Neil which leads to the conflict between them. Most of the story is written as dialogue which brings out the characters personalities. Although there is a lot of conversation between Neil and Mrs Wan and Neil and Michael there is no conversation at all between Neil and his mum. This also shows the conflict between them. The short story is written in third person omniscient this means that the narrator is not a character in the story and is able to describe

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