October, 2016

Strategy 8

Crossbreeding: Why was mother stopping me from climbing

Strategy 8: Crossbreeding with Something New – Inject really new material into the critical conversation to produce a new argument. For example, bring in a theory from another discipline to reinterpret the evidence, bring in new evidence to upset an old theory or interpretation, or establish an original framework (a combination of theories, a historical understanding) to reinterpret the evidence.

So this is the approach that Mukhopadhyay takes in the section “Why was mother stopping me from climbing.” Clearly no one in the office realized that the child had a medical condition, especially cerebral palsy they just thought that the child was unmannered or untrained. The author clearly interjects new thoughts and ideas into the conversation because she puts the thoughts and emotions of the patient into the conversation. Usually with medical cases we hear the perspective of the patient from the doctors or family members point of view.

This part of the book also presents the information in a clear concise way, so clear that it actually sounds like a child’s perspective which is also a new take and perspective on this specific subject matter. Most medical cases are explained with really confusing language that still doesn’t quite describe the patients point of view.

This specific story is also a memory which makes it seem much more credible even though told by a child point of view. Usually stories told by children are deemed less credible the author manages to incapsulate the child’s voice while remaining credible because its a memory from the same child when he’s older.

Eve and Adam: The reversal of gender roles

W.E.B Dubois says “[Africans] simply wish to make it possible for a man to be both Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face” (Dubois 3). This quote seems particularly interesting when looking at Greeniage’s We Love You Charlie Freeman because I think this is exactly what Laurel and her family tries to accomplish. In the beginning she goes to her hairdresser and tells her hairdresser to give her a different hairstyle, one that can be easily maintained because where they are going doesn’t have any hair stylist that know how to deal with her hair. She also makes her younger daughter, Callie, cut her hair as well. It seems interesting because Charlotte, the eldest daughter chooses not to. It seems that the entire family depicted is trying to maintain some sort of their “blackness” (which I don’t even think is a thing) but also trying to assimilated to what is “accepted” in their new community.

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Finally, we have a reading that I couldn’t put down!

Obviously this book is embedded with race relations and racism and all, but I was immediately taken when I realized that the book was lead by females…Did anyone else notice? In all the relationships among people WOMEN were the reason. We start off with Laurel Freeman and her family moving out of their city in Massachusetts– Dorchester. First of all, it shocked me that the person driving the vehicle was the mom…usually if the father or male figure is in the vehicle he would be driving. Then the whole reason behind their move was because of Laurel who was the one that decided to have the whole family participate in a research project. Cool. Now we get to the facility, the main researcher is Dr. Paulsen  **ding ding ding** another female. Women and science? Whoa! Hold the phones there! I was shocked. I’m still kind of surprised and happy that Greenidge did this. Then we get to Charlotte’s romantic relationship with Adia—another girl.

I think it’s also interesting to note that the Freeman family is subjected to being in a research project involving monkeys….maybe this is me reading too much into this, but I can’t be the only one to have heard black people referred to as monkeys before. It’s also interesting to note that Laurel immediately treats Charlie as her child without even trying to start an initial bond…her motherly instincts just sort of kick in and allows Charlie to sleep in her bed the first night they are introduced sort of like how a toddler has a bad dream and then hops into bed with mommy and daddy… All in all the subtle details that Greenidge puts throughout the novel help to make this novel a masterpiece.

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