My Sister’s Keeper Essay

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My Sister’s Keeper Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 994

  • Pages: 4

My Sister’s Keeper

My Sister’s Keeper: Literary Essay

The novel My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult has an astounding contrast between appearance and reality. Throughout the world people keep secrets from each other. What motivates them to do this? Jodi Picoult develops this contrast by examining each character’s thoughts and motivation through a point-of-view narrative. Picoult demonstrates that there is a difference between the way people appear to feel and the way they truly feel. This statement is true to all the characters in My Sister’s Keeper, because they all hide their true motives from one another in the novel. What you see in reality may not always be the truth. What appears to be motivating a person to say or do something may totally be different from the real reason a person behaves.

This essay will discuss the superficial motives and the actual motives presented by Anna Fitzgerald, Alexander Campbell, and Jesse Fitzgerald. On the surface, Anna Fitzgerald masks the true motivation behind her filing the lawsuit by claiming that she was doing this for herself. In essence so that she could get rights for her body. However, her true motives actually lay in the fact that she did not want to reveal Kate’s wish to die. Ultimately, when Anna was asked, “who convinced you?” (pg.378), she answered with regret, “Kate” (pg. 378). Although the reader knows that Kate wants to die, up until now, Anna appeared to have filed the lawsuit because she wanted to make her own decisions for her body and put her own interest in front of Kate’s. Although these desires may have played a role in the lawsuit, Anna still allowed Kate to decide that she doesn’t want her to not donate her kidney. Anna has always been the one who could keep Kate alive, but she is also the one who can give Kate what she wants in this case. Anna hid this because she knew revealing Kate’s wish to die would hurt her parents, Sara for the most part. In similar fashion, Alexander Campbell masks his true motives when ending his relationship with Julia. Campbell wants to hide his epilepsy but at the same time does not want Julia to suffer knowing that she would have to live with him having it for the rest of his life. Rather than expressing his true feelings, and telling her the truth, he hides the fact that he has epilepsy, so that he does not feel vulnerable and invite pity on himself.

Throughout the novel Campbell comes up with many excuses as to why he takes his dog Judge everywhere with him. One of Campbell’s many excuses includes, “I’m nearsighted. He helps me read the road signs” (pg. 81). By the end of the novel, the reader eludes to the facts of why Campbell breaks off his relationship with Julia and why his dog Judge is always with him. The truth is illuminated in court when he has a seizure and afterwards when he explains to Julia, “. . . I got into a car accident. I came through with a few bruises, and that night I had the first seizure . . . the doctor’s couldn’t really tell me why, but they made it pretty clear I’d have to live with it forever” (pg. 387). Thus Picoult manages to show the appearance that Campbell broke off his relationship with Julia because he loved her independence and did not want to interfere with it. However, after the court incident it becomes clear that he breaks off the relationship for reasons mentioned above.

Finally, Jesse Fitzgerald is the type of person who doesn’t want to be figured out and conceals his reasons for intentionally burning things. Picoult builds on the sense that Jesse thinks he is invisible and not important to his family when Jesse’s dad just stares at him after he asks to go skateboarding, “…and his eyes were dazed and staring through me, like I was made out of smoke. That was the first time I thought that maybe I was” (pg. 245). Jesse’s fascination with flames is emphasized when he reveals that, “the thing about flame is that it’s insidious – it sneaks, it licks, it looks over its shoulder and laughs. . . Like a sunset eating everything in its path” (pg.246). The family feels that Jesse burns things for fun not realizing that he is doing it to hide his emotions and the fact that the family has given up on him.

To him this whole situation with Kate is like a blaze that will eventually extinguish as all fires do. He feels that all of the injustices that he’s suffered will always pale in comparison to that which is happening to his sister, which essentially leaves him feeling despair and helpless and ultimately driving him to arson to vent out his frustrations. In retrospect, Jodi Picoult has created multi-dimensional characters through the use of point-of-view narratives. She gives accounts of each person’s thought processes as they face the situation that Kate is going through. Through the characters of Anna, Campbell and Jesse, she manages to reveal the true motives behind each character’s behavior as opposed to the behaviour that is seen by each of the other characters. By the end of the novel, the reader realizes that everything is not what it seems on the surface. There are feelings, emotions, and decisions at play that influence the way the characters act and portray themselves. Ultimately, the characters provide good insight into why they act the way they do and in the end this justifies the behaviour that the other characters are forced to deal with.

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My Sisters Keeper Essay

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My Sisters Keeper Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 951

  • Pages: 4

My Sisters Keeper

My Sister’s Keeper is a movie about a young girl named Anna (Abigail Breslin) whose life was brought to be for a very important purpose. She was born into a loving family with two adoring parents that made the decision to have another child in the hopes of saving the life of older their daughter that has leukemia. Throughout the entire movie the family and therefore the audience is presented with love, laughter and many emotional moral issues. Just like in real life there are many ups and downs and obstacles to be overcome. Some of moral dilemmas the characters face include stem cell research, at what age can children start making life changing decisions life for themselves and euthanasia to an extent.

Wikipedia defines stem cell controversy as “the ethical debate primarily concerning the creation, treatment, and destruction of human embryos incident to research involving embryonic stem cells”1. In this movie the creation of the human embryo was done by the parents and done so in the natural way. Although created from love, the results were still the same. From the time Anna was born she had gone through numerous and painful surgeries. In my opinion the surgeries were justified lifesaving and miraculous surgeries that provided the entire family with memories they can all cherish after Kate’s- Anna’s older sister (Sofia Vassilleva) passing.

However as Kate got older and developed her own voice additional and perhaps unseen problems emerged. She was screaming to be heard about how she felt about the decisions made about her life and was being ignored. So she decided that Anna was old enough and strong enough to fight for her rights regardless of her age. The subject of what age a children can start making life altering choices fall upon two of the characters in this movie. We, the audience are lead to believe that Anna whom is eleven has decided that’s enough is enough- as she exclaims to an attorney that she’s trying to hire “I want to sue my parents for the right to my own body.”

As the attorney, played by Alec Baldin read her medical history we get the sense that this all has gone too far. Something that was meant to be miraculous has somehow turned into something almost tortious and something that no parent in their right mind would put their child through. So therein lies the main debate of the move, Is Anna old enough and wise enough to make decisions about her own life and body. However later we discover it isn’t Anna who is seeking her independents, it’s her sister Kate. At 15, Kate has also spent the majority of her life in and out of surgery, as well as watching her family hurt from the pain that she’s experiencing. So she’s the one who is struggling to be heard since her parents are the ones able to make medical decisions for her and her sister.

Kate has convinced her little sister Anna to no longer agree to any more surgeries to help prolong her life. This to many, including her mother (Cameron Diaz) is a form of suicide. There is such a fine line separating suicide from not accepting medical assistants to save your life. After my own life experiences I would have to agree that Kate has the right to choose when her life ends. I could only imagine, as we all could ONLY imagine not having been in that situation. I don’t honestly believe one would know how they would react until in that position themselves.

There seem to be countless things to consider when considering ending your life. Mainly I would think it would be the loved ones you’re leaving behind. They will be the ones left her to face the pain of losing the person they love. In this movie the person that seems to struggle the most with the idea of loss is the person that seemed to fight the hardest, Sara, the mother. Thankfully they offer a light at the end of the tunnel. Although Kate is no longer alive her spirit seems to live. There is a new found sparkle that develops in her families eyes after time is allowed to heal some of their wounds. Leading the audience to believe that perhaps there is a peace that is brought when the suffering ends.

This movie was nothing less than an emotional rollercoaster that left my mind spinning with questions for myself many hours after watching it. Although many people in class that felt a lot of anger towards the mother in the film, again I go back to no one would really know what they’d do until in that position. She was faced with an issue and dealt with it the best and only way she knew how- her way. In my opinion morality and ethics seem to come down to a lot of judgments and theories on what we’d do if that situation happened to us. As I’ve gotten older and with what I’ve experienced I believe that besides myself I only have one person to answer to and that’s my Lord and Savior and on the day I have to answer for what I’ve done, I truly believe if it was done with Him in my heart then I’ll
have given the right answers.

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My Sister’s Keeper Essay

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My Sister’s Keeper Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1045

  • Pages: 4

My Sister’s Keeper

In the movie, My Sister’s Keeper, a suspenseful journey through a 13 year old’s push for medical emancipation. Anna, Sara, and Kate Fitzgerald get bumps and bruises from arguing over the overall morals of Kate Fitzgerald’s life. Being an ongoing fighter of leukemia, Anna, the youngest child of Brian and Sara Fitzgerald, go through a seemingly endless process arguing over their leukemia-stricken daughter Kate’s life. Throughout the whole movie, the setting is either in general, Rhode Island or in Providence Hospital where Kate goes for chemotherapy by Dr. Chance. A suspense filled movie, Nick Cassavetes creates a drama filled movie.

During one of the final scenes of this magnificent movie, Kate and Anna are sitting outside of their home in the grass on a blanket. Kate is explaining to Anna all of the thoughts that have been going through her mind for the past few months. Cassavetes includes a flashback of Anna catching Kate locked in her room drinking and doing drugs. Kate was blasting rock music and oblivious to the harm that she was causing her leukemia-stricken body.

Not ever was Anna able to put two and two together to realize that Kate did not want to live and suffer with pain every minute of her cancer-full life. As a whole, this scene is etched into the film well. The overall purpose of this scene, after all of the tension, is to show a more sensitive side of the movie. This is brought out, especially when Kate is braiding Anna’s hair, furthermore symbolizing the cancer that has inflicted Kate. This scene also portrays the stronger side of Kate through the movie. Throughout the movie, Kate was always worried about never getting a boyfriend because she had no hair.

For the majority of the scene, the distance of the camera follows a pattern. The camera would begin far away and then goes close-up to a certain character. The director chose to do both close-ups and long shots in order to show the proportion difference between Anna’s perspective and Kate’s. Kate can then be seen by viewers as the aggressor in the scene. The camera movement varies throughout the scene. When the director wants to convey the amount of tension in the act, he pans the camera. This type of camera movement is key to showing the unlimited amount of tension present in this scene.

The director would focus on how Anna felt beat when she finds out that after all of the donations and surgeries that she had been through, her sister wants to over intoxicate herself. Low-angle shots are used by the actors who would look up into the sky and reminisce. The director uses this angle to exemplify the amount of thinking that Kate does about her life and her future. Overall the purpose of the various camera angles and movement is to draw the audience members into the movie and make is seem as though they are with the characters.

Throughout the scene, the lighting varies. The director mainly uses three-point lighting around Kate and Anna to light up and enhance the entire scene. He most likely illustrates this form of lighting to add depth to the surrounding of the two main characters and keep the characters visible at all times of the scene. When the director wants to make a clip seem darker and more serious to the viewers, he uses film noir. This type of lighting is used when Anna catches Kate drinking in her room and blasting rock music in her room.

Without this dark lighting, the clip wouldn’t seem as rigid as it should appear. All in all, lighting in this specific scene of My Sister’s Keeper is extremely important to exemplify the scene. The costumes play a major part in this scene. Although the attire seems like clothes that the average teenager would wear on a daily basis, it shows the calm setting of this part of the scene. When Anna finds her sister in her room drinking, Kate was wearing all black and her makeup was running down her face and Anna was in her pajamas.

With all of this said, the costumes worn in the scene are substantial for the viewers because it helps them understand the sisters have fights on and off. The set of the movie doesn’t take place in California, but in a studio. Although the scene appears to be located in the city of fame, in actuality it is shot using green screens. If the did take place in the authentic location, the director would have a harder time getting perfect lighting. The majority of the time, the sky was a perfect blue and had just the right amount of clouds.

Even though the set is green-screened, the scene is much better because of the computed generated graphics like the sky and the clouds that are produced, From the beginning to the end, the scene has an assortment of different kinds of editing from montage to cut transitions. When the director wanted to separate the two sections of the scene, he cut the two to show the difference in the two sections. When the director was wrapping this scene up, he faded this scene out. In conculsion, this scene, hands down, is the most valuable part of the movie.

All of the thought in camera angles, lighting, costumes, set, editing, and sound came together to shape a brilliant scene. All of these elements allowed the audience to capture a “big-sister moment”, especially when she is braiding her hair and telling her memorable stories. Without this, the movie would not have been complete. I believe that this scene was necessary to bridge the gap between the tension-full scenes to the scene when Kate dies. All in all, the director’s cinematic techniques in the scene portray the themes of love and friendship beautifully in the film.

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My Sisters Keeper Essay

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My Sisters Keeper Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 361

  • Pages: 1

My Sisters Keeper

I am discussing the movie, “My Sisters Keeper,” the moral dilemma in the movie is not revealed until the end; Kate has put her sister Anna up to suing her parents for the rights of her own medical decisions so that in actuality Kate can die in peace; in essence voluntary passive euthanasia. The dilemma described in the movie is immoral based on the Categorical Imperative by Immanuel Kant.

Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative rejects the view that a person’s actions are good or bad based on solely on the consequences of those actions; Kantians emphasize that a person is praised or blamed for their actions based on the intentions with which they act. This film explores the medical, legal, ethical and moral issues related to long term illness and discusses some of the bioethical issues around the experimental technique known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.

It presents many ethical dilemmas when a couple chooses to genetically engineer a baby to create a bone marrow match for their terminally ill daughter. That creation is Anna Fitzgerald, who is beginning to wonder about her place in the world and questions her on going donations in order to save her sister’s, Kate’s life. Anna feels that her existence is defined by her ability to save her sister. That type of knowledge of such form of conception must have some sort of psychological ramifications upon a growing child.

If I knew that I was a test tube baby, it would make living a little less extraordinary because it takes away the romance of creating life. “Most babies are accidents. Not me. I was engineered, born to save my sister’s life. ”Those opening words are spoken by Anna Fitzgerald, an 11-year-old girl who was conceived in vitro as a genetic match for her leukemia-stricken older sister Kate. Whenever a part of Kate’s body fails, Anna’s parents Sara and Brian immediately offer up the needed part of Anna’s body for donation.

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My Sisters Keeper Essay

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My Sisters Keeper Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 306

  • Pages: 1

My Sisters Keeper

In the novel My Sisters Keeper, the author Jodi Picoult brings up the issues of moral ethics and family dynamics. She explores the balance between saving a child’s life and putting another child in danger. Although I think the main theme in the novel would be that you should always live in the present instead of future, and live life it to the fullest.

My Sisters Keeper is a moving story about Ana who files a law suit over the rights of her body. Ana was born to provide blood, bone marrow and all sorts of body parts for her sister Kate who has a serious case of Leukaemia. While this book is serious and somewhat negative, I found a positive message between the lines. I think it is about not letting life pass you by and seizing every single day. This is the case when Kate is sick and Sara (the girls’ mother) is so preoccupied with Kate’s medical business that she forgets to just enjoy the time with her family while she still can. The family spends so much time concentrating on Kate’s death and what will happen when she does pass that they miss the time she has left living. Sara also does not realise that she also forgets to spend time with her other children when she is too busy with Kate and her treatments, and makes her eldest, Jese feel left out and abandoned.

I believe that the theme of living life in the present and living it to the fullest is very relevant to today’s society, as everyone seems so busy and preoccupied with plans for the future. They are forgetting to live in the moment.

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