The Monster, By Henry Johnson

1323 WordsMar 8, 20176 Pages
People with non-normative bodies are treated differently in “The Monster” and in “The Story of My Life”. Henry Johnson loses his humanity while Helen Keller gains her humanity. Both texts show the challenges of being different. Physical appearance contributes to how others treat people and their quality of life. In “The Monster” it describes how the person’s mental capacity is equivalent to their outward appearance, while in “The Story of My Life” it describes how a person can change and overcome their disabilities and treated like abled body people. Henry Johnson in “The Monster” was feared and treated poorly by the people around him. “She was not coherent even to her mother. Was it a man? She didn’t know. It was simply a thing, a…show more content…
Through writing, Keller portrays her physical disabilities as a challenge she must overcome; Keller writes at a high academic level which proves to her audience that her external appearance does not reflect her mental ability. Race is a part of a person’s physical appearance and both texts viewed white ethnicity as superior to the African American ethnicity, which impacts how people treated others with non-normative bodies. Johnson was African American which impacted how people viewed him before he was burned and after. “In regard to almost everything in life they seemed to have minds precisely alike” (Stephen, 91 course reader). Before Johnson was hurt, he was viewed as mentally equivalent to a child’s. Being compared to a child’s mental ability as an adult, is mentally insulting to Johnson because it indicates to the audience that Johnson must be unintelligent. Viewing Johnson as an unintelligent person before his injury, foreshadows how the others treated him once he became disfigured. African American’s were also portrayed as animals which also foreshadows how Johnson is viewed when he gets hurt: “They bowed and smiled and ignored and imitated…. They could not have been more like three monkeys” (Stephen, 94). If people already viewed African Americans as unintelligent, then they will not have any hope of an African American with a

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