The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat Essay

1280 Words Mar 23rd, 2011 6 Pages
Sean Eleuteri

Febuary 9th 2011

Professor Kumar

English 101

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was written by Oliver Sacks who is a professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University. Sacks writes about his studies of a man named Dr. P who has an unusual brain disorder. Sacks tries to figure out what is exactly wrong with Dr. P and prescribe him with something that can help him; but he can’t seem to figure out what will help Dr. P. His only solution is to prescribe him with “a life which consists entirely of music. Music has been the center; now make it the whole, of your life” (Sacks 688). Dr. P’s main problem is that he has lost judgment in his life which Sacks is scared
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Dr. P is a very prestige music teacher and very well known for how talented he is at music and painting. Dr. P never lost his abstract judgement, which is what you need to sing and paint. While Sacks is observing paints done by Dr. P he noticed how much they changed over time. Sacks says “All his earlier work was naturalistic and realistic, with vivid mood and atmosphere, but finely detailed and concrete. Then, years later, they became less vivid, less concrete, less realistic and naturalistic, but far more abstract, even geometrical and cubist” Sacks notices that Dr. P never lost his creativeness throughout his illness. He still created great paintings but they just changed very much just like himself. When he lost his judgment he changed as well and became a lot more abstract in not just his paintings but in his life.

One thing that affects judgement is cognitive abilities. This is one thing that Dr. P really struggled with. To him nothing had names but only detail. The detail of a person or object is the only thing that Dr. P could regonize. He continued to be successful is music because there is no right or wrong for music. Music is completely abstract and not cognitive so Dr. P could still succeed in that. Music has no names or labels such as objects that Dr. P can’t tell things from another. Sacks was showing pictures and object to Dr. P
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