The Diving Bell And The Butterfly by Jean-Dominque Bauby

December 12, 2011
By Alanna McDermott BRONZE, Oxford, Massachusetts
Alanna McDermott BRONZE, Oxford, Massachusetts
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

After a devastating stroke, Jean-Dominque Bauby a French journalist, author, and editor of the French fashion magazine ELLE was left in an extremely debilitating condition called “locked in syndrome”. This condition leaves the patient mentally alert but deprived of any movement or speech. Bauby described himself as a “prisoner” of his own body, unable to speak and move, but being completely aware of everything happening around him. Although some might think this would be the end for Bauby and his career, he shocked the world with his most heart wrenching literary work. Bauby’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly takes the reader on an emotional journey and allows them to see things through the eyes of a “locked in” patient.

Throughout his book, Bauby displays a range of different attitudes towards his condition. Although some parts of the book seem hopeless and sad, Bauby offers some comic relief with his sarcastic sense of humor. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is both monumental and inspiring. The fact that a man could compose such an amazing story with only the blinking of an eye is an unbelievable accomplishment. It is important to take into consideration that Bauby took the time and endured the frustration of composing this book for people to read and learn from.
People of all kinds can enjoy this book because it doesn’t adhere to one specific audience. The book is about struggle and what is truly important in life which any reader can relate to. From a personal experience, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly really helped me put things into perspective, and I think it could do the same for many others. Bauby’s story can help the reader realize the extreme hardships others endure, and that with perseverance and hope anything can be accomplished.

“This will certify that the enclosed work is completely original”

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