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Strong Shadows Essay, Research Paper

1. I believe that Dr. Zuger chose the people she did because she was trying to get a large amount of differences of infections the patients could contract and also show the patients? similarities in lifestyle and the similarities in the way in which they grew up to try and educate people on the lifestyle one must live to put oneself at higher risk for contracting this terrible disease. The characters all seemed to have come from a home without much love from their family members, or they had something major missing in their life that could have caused a great amount of stress not normally experienced in an average person?s life. All of them were uneducated and careless leading us to believe that Dr. Zuger was trying to show that education and responsibility are the best ways to prevent one?s contraction of this disease. Some of them got HIV from reckless lifestyles such as drug use involving needle sharing to prostitution while others got it merely by having sex with casual partners. The decision to pick this array of patients again strengthens the fact that Dr. Zuger is trying to tell us that it is possible to get AIDS in many ways and that just because one is having casual sex does not mean that he is immune from its effects. These are probably a few reasons why Dr. Zuger chose them for her book.

2. The human frailty that Deborah Sweet possessed was that she was untrustworthy, she was always trying to get Dr. Zuger to get something for her such as prescriptions for drugs that would sell on the street or get her to write her a note to be allowed to miss court.

The human frailty that Michael Soto has was when he first got the HIV virus and when he was using drugs. He is a very nice and willing patient and does not want to burden others with his problems. This shortcoming was very hard to decide on because he was such a good person.

Cynthia Wilson?s human frailty was that she needs help and that she is uneducated. She thinks that they should just be able to fix her problem without a problem and without delay. She seems to be very ungrateful for all the help she is receiving. She also does not know how to teach her children how to avoid becoming like her. Since she was not taught self- respect when she was younger, she cannot teach her children that self-respect. Again, we find that lack of education is an important generator of ignorance and a determinant of the likelihood of contracting HIV and the way in which one deals with it once it has been contracted.

Eddies Rios? human frailty is that he is addicted to drugs. He tries to care for his wife but he cannot. He made good by getting his kids back and out of foster care and he loves his wife with all his heart.

Anita Lewis? human frailty was that she was too proud to take care of herself. She continually made excuses for why she could not be properly treated and was too proud to tell her family about her sickness. She had a fatal flaw in that she would not treat herself as someone sick, but merely empty her head of all thoughts of disease and hope it would go away.

Shannon Gallagher?s human frailty in that she is a liar and a deceiver. To get where she is right now she must have been a great liar and deceiver. It is a shame that she has wasted so many people?s lives and money just to get the love she desires.

The human frailty of Jose Morales is that he loses so much because of HIV disease. He loses his wife then misses her after he scared her away. He more than likely will die alone and his mind is so shot from the medications he is on that he probably won?t even know that he is alone in the end.

The human frailty of Nancy Corelli is that she acquired HIV from her second husband. This part of the book does not mention much about her past. She wants to know how much longer she has to live, but I would expect that from anyone in her situation so I would not consider that a frailty.

3. My favorite character would have to have been Michael Soto. He had such a positive attitude about getting HIV. He always took good care of himself although he was dying and dealing with such a serious disease. He never wanted to get in anyone?s way and actually goes out of his way to put his wife?s health first on a list of priorities.

4. My least favorite character was Deborah Sweet. She, unlike many of the other characters was given a second chance at life. After she was orphaned she lived with her Aunt that loved her very much but she refused to make anything positive come out of her situation. Although I say these things about her, I wonder to myself how I would behave. I probably would have a similar look at life. I would, like her, probably blame the world and be bitter to many others. However, I would also try to make positive of the situation in which God had placed me. I ,also, would not blame my misfortunes on the color of my skin.

5. I gained a lot from reading this book. I now feel like I have better understanding of the complications that come about because of HIV disease and of the medication used to treat it. Dr. Zuger really made you feel all the hardships that these patients were enduring and it was very depressing to have to see the patients falling apart right in front of you. It really makes you think to yourself about how you would deal with many of the situations in which these people were placed. It also makes you see that there are many different reactions to a similar disease. It seems that this disease is not only that of the physical body but, more so it seems, of the mind. To deal with this disease mentally is just as taxing as having to deal with the physical complications. It makes you appreciate the fact that you do not have this disease and that you have the power to educate and stop others from getting it. There are not many other diseases out there that can conjure up so many different reactions to the same situation, and it makes you understand just how terrible HIV and AIDS truly are.

6. I would hope that I would be like Michael Soto. Although I can see myself behaving like Deborah Sweet in certain situations and during certain times. I would certainly behave like Michael by taking my medications ritualistically and trying to expand my life span as much as possible. Michael should be the role model for all people HIV positive and those that are not. The way in which he behaves borders on perfection and it would do the world much good if all people could see how he behaves when faced with a terminal disease. It would certainly bring many people "suffering" back down to Earth and make them realize that they don?t have it quite as bad as they would like to believe.

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