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BriBell's picture

  Both these stories

 

Both these stories brought up extremely intriguing questions about the self and personality and how the actual biological workings affect how we view our identity and the identity of others. Greg's parents felt as if the Greg they knew was gone -- lost forever. The first impression of Greg is that he has become a drone - a vegetable of a sort. However, the doctors and nurses all felt like Greg had a continuous cheery, open disposition and liked to think that this was his personality. However, this personality only came out when prompted by outside stimulus. I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to live so in the moment that you are only present with a personality when someone is speaking to you. Also, I found it fascinating that each outside person saw Greg’s condition drastically different from each other – the religious people saw him as having reached enlightenment, the fact that he was so present in only the moment that was taking place was a good thing in their eyes. The family saw him as lost, gone from all reality and transformed into almost an empty shell of what he once was. The doctors who lived with him every day saw him as someone who may still have depth of emotion and a glimmer of personality.

Though Greg’s story stuck with me more, the Surgeon, too, brought up some of the same interesting questions – what constitutes personality, and how much does our biological make up, with all its quirks, create that personality? I feel like I have always thought of people with diseases such as tourrettes as having a personality that is then hindered by their disease – but maybe, as this reading seems to suggest, the disease is just a part of their personality. Why do we feel the need to separate these ‘abnormalities’ into, well, abnormalities, and not just accept it as personality? Obviously, yes, there are the basic health reasons, but I feel like we separate them even deeper than that….

 

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