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3/21 Absence make up post

Cecilia Morales's picture

One theme that was apparent to me while reading Good Kings, Bad Kings was the power of misconceptions and their very real effects on the lives of disabled people. For example, the idea that disabled people inherently have a lower quality/expectancy of life is exemplified when Michelle recounts Tim saying that death is a natural part of life and you have to accept more death because the people they take care of are frail. This biased view that disabled people, regardless of their disability, have an ingrained weakness and are expected to die actually makes the institution compacent in their deaths. There is no incentive to prevent the deaths that are already occuring because they are seen as innevitable, even though many of them are due to neglect and abuse (entirely preventable). In this intance, this misconception about disabled individuals is not simply just causing discrimination and societal disability, but its actively killing institutionalized people. 


Something else I was thinking about was how my persepctive on the book has changed since reading it for the first time back in 2020. I think the novel has become more personal to me when thinking about these kids. Over the summer and winter break I got invovled in social work, specifically for child welfare, and the kids in the book remind me so much of the kids I worked with. The instability, being bounced around from place to place, facing abuse, etc. You have to be the kids' parent, friend, therapist, caretaker, etc. all at once (something we definitely see in the book from characters like Jimmie and Joanne). It was just interesting reading the book again and picturing their faces as these charaters.