Appearance and Reality in My Sister’s Keeper

August 1, 2021 by Essay Writer

The novel My Sister’s Keeper has an astonishing contrast between appearance and reality. Since the begging of life and all over around the world people have kept secrets from each other. But, what motivates them to do this? Jodi Picoult develops this contrast by shedding light on each character’s thoughts through a point-of-view narrative. Picoult displays that there is a difference between the way people appear seem 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. The novel discuses many themes as love, family, suffering, despair, choices, isolation and identity.

The novel ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ revolves on how Kate was diagnosed by doctors in 1990 when she was only two years old with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia. Hearing this shocked Sara, Kate’s mom and her firefighter husband, Brian. Sara instantly decided to begin Kate on treatment. When Kate started chemotherapy, her oncologist, Dr. Chance, said that eventually Kate will need a bone marrow transplant from a related donor. After the parents tested their 4-year-old son, Jesse, he turned out not to be a good match. Thus, they parents decided to have another child that hopefully will be a good match for Kate.

In the novel Picoult shows the superficial motives and the real motives presented by Anna Fitzgerald, Alexander Campbell, and Jesse Fitzgerald. What appears on the surface is that Anna makes it seems as if the only true motivation behind her filling the lawsuit is to get the rights for her own body. Although, her true motivation was to give Kate she wanted without revealing that her sister wanted to die to end her suffering with cancer. Eventually, when Anna was asked, ‘who convinced you? (pg. 378), she answered with regret, ‘Kate’ (pg. 378). And although by now the reader knows that Kate wants to die, Anna still appears to have filled the lawsuit in essence to make her on decisions for her body and put her interest in front of Kate’s. Anna hid this fact because she knew revealing Kate’s wishes to die would hurt her parents and sabotage Kate’s plan and wishes. In similar fashion, Alexander Campbell, the lawyer, ended his relationship with Julia rather than simply telling her that he has epilepsy because he does not want her to suffer knowing that she would have to live with him having it for the rest of his life. He does not want anyone’s pity.

Throughout the novel Alexander Cambell comes up with excuses for why does he take his dog Judge everywhere with him. One of his excuses was, ‘I’m nearsighted. He helps me read the road signs’ (pg. 81). By the end of the novel, the reader evades to the facts of why Cambell ends his relationship with Julia and why his dog Judge is always with him. The truth illuminated in court when he had a seizure and afterwards he explained to Julia, ‘… I got into a car accident. I came through with a few bruises, and that night I had the first seizure… the doctors couldn’t really tell me why, but they made it pretty clear that I’d have to live with it forever’ (pg. 387). Thus, Picoult manages to show the appearance that Cambell 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 ended the relationship for the reasons mentioned above.

And finally, Jesse Fitzgerald is the type of person who does not want to be figured out and he always 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 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 is 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 is Jesse brings trouble out of fun when in reality he hides his feelings and copes that way. He has always felt like his problems will always pale in comparison to what is happening to his sister. This has left him in despair.

But, is it fair to keep secrets from your loved ones? Not everyone is pleasant with engaging in self-disclosure, even to their loved ones. Of course, there are secrets and then there are secrets. People keep secrets for many reasons, it could vary from logical reasons such if it is detrimental to a cause It is detrimental to a cause. (You might be trying to craft an appearance that does not comply with certain truths; Or you might be trying to influence someone or something in a particular way, that the truth prevents.) It is only acceptable if it is for the cause of not hurting the other person emotionally. Reckon, I believe that Anna’s parents made the most rational decision of not telling her their true ‘initial’ intention for bringing her to life. They did not harm her by this decision and of course it would not change the fact that they loved her as much as her other siblings, reckon they saved Kate’s life by getting her the kidney, after Anna’s death in the accident.

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