The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to structure the three thesis points. Your reading this week includes Chapters 17-20, and a summary of one of those chapters is due Friday, also. Be sure to practice quoting in MLA format by including direct quotes with attribution and a citation. See Purdue Wise Owl (link in Websites tab on left of Blackboard screen), for additional help if you need it. We are going to continue sentence combining using conjunctions and proper punctuation, and learn about denotation, conotation, and inferences. See RWACI for further definitions of each. Instructions: MLA I need a summary Due on January 25, 2016 I need a thesis due January 27, 2016
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks READING GUIDE Chapters 1-5
Prologue: The Woman in the Photograph
- The author uses several similes to describe cells. What simile does she use to describe
the way a cell looks? What simile does she use to explain the functions of the different
parts of a cell? What do these similes suggest about biology?
- What is mitosis? What beneficial biological processes involve mitosis?
- What simile does Donald Defler use to describe mitosis?
- What happens when there is a mistake during the process of mitosis?
- According to Defler, how important was the discovery of HeLa cells?
- As a high school student, Skloot began researching HeLa cells to find out more about
Henrietta Lacks. Examine pages 5 and 6 and write down each step that Skloot took to
begin her research.
Chapter One: The Exam
- How long did Henrietta wait between first telling her girlfriends that “something didn’t
feel right” and going to the doctor?
- Why does Sadie think Henrietta hesitated before seeing a doctor?
- What did Henrietta’s first doctor assume the source of the lump on Henrietta’s cervix
was? What stereotype or bias might this assumption be based upon?
- Why did David Lacks take Henrietta to the public wards at Johns Hopkins instead of a
- Explain what the Jim Crow laws were.
- Who was Henrietta’s gynecologist?
- Review the notes on Henrietta’s medical history found on page 16. Based on the
objective details in her medical chart, what can you infer about Henrietta’s life and
- Based on her medical chart, how would you describe Henrietta’s feelings about
- What did Howard Jones find “interesting” about Henrietta’s medical history? What does
this finding suggest about Henrietta’s cancer?
Chapter Two: Clover
- Why did Henrietta end up being raised by her grandfather, Tommy Lacks?
- What are the connotations of the term “home-house”? What does this term suggest
about the values of the Lacks family?
- How was Day related to Henrietta?
- Skloot uses vivid imagery and details to describe Henrietta’s childhood in Clover.
Locate a passage that you found particularly effective or memorable, and explain why
you selected it.
- Describe the relationship between Crazy Joe and Henrietta.
- How old was Henrietta when she had her first child with Day?
- What was different about Henrietta’s second child, Elsie?
- Compare the medical terms describing Elsie’s condition with the terms used by
Henrietta’s friends and family. What are the connotations of the two sets of terms?
- How did Pearl Harbor change life in Turner Station?
- Contrast the working conditions of black workers and white workers at the Sparrows
Point Steel Mill.
Chapter Three: Diagnosis and Treatment
- How are different types of cancer categorized?
- Summarize Dr. TeLinde’s position in the debate over the treatment of cervical cancer.
- Explain how the development of the Pap smear improved the survival rate of women
diagnosed with cervical cancer.
- How did doctors justify using patients in public hospital wards as medical research
subjects without obtaining their consent or offering them financial compensation? Do
you agree or disagree with their reasoning? Explain your answer.
- How did TeLinde hope to prove that his hypothesis about cervical cancer was correct?
- What was George Gey’s position at Johns Hopkins?
- Explain what an immortal cell line is.
- Explain how TeLinde and Gey’s relationship led to Gey obtaining a tissue sample from
- Analyze the consent statement that Henrietta signed on page 31. Based on this
statement, do you believe TeLinde and Guy had the right to obtain a sample from her
cervix to use in their research?
- Do you think Henrietta would have given explicit consent to have a tissue sample used
in medical research if she had been asked? Do you think she would have understood
what was being asked of her? Explain your answers.
- Were cells taken only from black patients? Were black patients generally treated
differently from white patients in the early 1950s? Explain your answers.
Chapter Four: The Birth of HeLa
- Summarize the main obstacles Gey and his assistants faced in their effort to grow cells.
- Where did the name “HeLa” come from?
- Based on the descriptions of Gey found on pages 38–39, offer three adjectives that best
describe his personality.
- Explain how Gey’s roller-tube culturing technique works.
- What happened to the HeLa cells that Mary cultured?
- Gey chose to give away samples of HeLa to his colleagues almost immediately. Do you
think this was a good decision? Explain your answer.
- Once HeLa started growing, was Henrietta informed that her cells were being used in
- What is the implication of the author’s decision to use the term “birth” to describe the
initial growth of HeLa cells?
Chapter Five: “Blackness Be Spreadin All Inside”
- After her diagnosis and treatment, how did Henrietta behave? What can you infer
about her personality based on this behavior?
- According to Ethel’s cousins, why did she dislike Henrietta?
- What was Elsie’s early life like?
- Why did Henrietta and David (Day) Lacks decide to place Elsie in the Hospital for the
- What specific details let the reader know that sending Elsie away was difficult for
- Why do you think Henrietta initially chose not to tell people about her cancer
diagnosis? What does this decision suggest about Henrietta’s personality?
- What important information did Henrietta’s doctor fail to give her before starting her
cancer treatment? How did she react when this information was eventually shared with
Writing Assessment One:
20% of your Final Grade
Assignment/ Writing Prompt:
Although the right to privacy is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has established that it is inherently protected by the Constitution. In a two-page typed essay, discuss three specific ways that the Lacks family’s right to privacy was violated. Discuss the importance of the right to privacy.
Skloot begins the book with the following quote from Elie Wiesel: “We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph.” In a two-page typed essay, discuss three ways that Henrietta lacks and the members of her family were treated inhumanely, as objects, not people with families and feelings, by doctors and other medical professionals.
Guidelines for Writing:
Cover stories or people that relate to your thesis. Do not get bogged down in covering all details or chapters in this book.
Write your paper in your own words. Do not rely on summaries, book reviews, online sources, or friends/classmates.
Use MLA formatting to set up your paper. (This includes having one-inch margins, reasonable type/font size, double-spaced lines, proper page numbers, in-text citations, etc.)
Revise your writing for clarity and conciseness. Avoid clarity issues that come from excessive wordiness, parallelism errors, mixed grammar errors, and modifier issues.
Introduce your textual references and quotations appropriately. Use effective signal words—such as asserts, believes, explains, contends, etc.—after the author’s name to set up a quote, summary, or paraphrase of the ideas in the book.
Use clear transitions. Always use transitional words—such as next, however, consequently, etc.—between each idea.
Check your grammar, spelling, and mechanics.
Make sure your paper is at least 2 pages in length and sticks to the writing prompt
Grading: Refer to the attached grading rubric to see how your paper will be graded. (All DRE 098 students will be graded the s