The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Reading assignment: 

Part 1: 

For this course you are to read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Once read, you are to write an analysis of the book. This analysis should not be a summary of the book; rather it should be a thoughtful response to the book as it relates to human behavior. What are the implications of living a life with “locked-in syndrome”? Provided are several points to consider while reading. These points should be used as discussion topics in your essay. You do not have to cover every point listed. The essay should be no less than 2 pages in length and written in accurate MLA format. In-text citations should be used when needed. 

Points to consider while reading The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

• What is a diving bell? Why do you think it is an excellent metaphor for Bauby’s physical restrictions?
• What is ‘locked-in-syndrome’, describe the symptoms
• What injury did Bauby sustain which landed him in the hospital? What region(s) of the brain were impacted?
• How do you think that Bauby’s personality and outlook could have contributed to his approach/outlook on his situation?
• Although Bauby has experienced a catastrophic and irreversible physical disability there is no talk of suicide in the book, why do you think this is?
• How does the reality of ‘coming out’ of a coma differ from the Hollywood ‘awakenings’ we see? Explain
• Why do you think that many people avoid Bauby?
• Even though Bauby is physically inert, his mind is still clear and active, how do we know this is so? Provide examples
• In what way is Bauby forced to grieve for his own life?
• What does Bauby’s experience tell us about life and our approach to those with disabilities?
• How does the title aptly apply to Bauby’s experiences?

Part 2: 

This book has been made into a movie and we will be viewing the movie in class. You are to identify a minimum of three parts of the video which depart from the book and list these examples on the last page of your paper. Provide a short explanation why you think these differences occurred.

I strongly recommend having your paper proofread. 30% of your final grade will reflect the quality of the construction of the paper including: grammar, syntax, organization and flow. 

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