Was Mary Mallon a victim or villain Essay

867 Words Dec 2nd, 2013 4 Pages
History 1
Was Mary Mallon a victim or villain?
Mary Mallon was a woman of Irish descent who came to the United States as an immigrant to start a new life in 1886. She worked as a cook in a house where wealthy families came to celebrate their vacation. She was a healthy carrier of typhoid and made the guests sick and they died because of her. Although science had not been developed enough yet and she was tried unfairly it did not make her only a victim. Mary Mallon transformed from victim to villain. When she decided not to report to the police and return to cooking.
Mary Mallon was a victim when she was quarantined for the first time. Science had not been developed enough yet to prove and explain what healthy carriers
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“Wherever there is dirt, germs can breed; and flies and vermin will come” (Tomes Reading, p 165). People also did not know that typhoid could be spread by uncooked food like ice cream. If science had been developed more they could have maybe used Mary to find a cure or at least it would probably have given her a better trial in the first place. Now everyone was thinking she had typhoid, so let us just lock her up. Maybe they could have thought of better solutions if they had known more.
However, Mary Mallon became a villain after she was released from quarantine, because then she knew she was not allowed to go back to cooking and she did anyway. As a result, many people in the hospital where she worked became sick and died. I have to believe that when she was in the hospital and all of the papers were written about her and cartoons were published she had to know she was carrying it. They would not have kept her in quarantine for so long if she had not been a threat to civilization. Also given the fact that the people in the house where she had worked at first had all become sick must have proved a point to her. They did multiple tests on her as well that proved she carried it. She might still have been thinking that it could not be true but that
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