The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down By Anne Fadiman Essay

775 Words Oct 11th, 2015 4 Pages
Western culture’s fascination with the thinking rationally stems back to the seventeenth and eighteenth century intellectual movement: The Enlightenment. The term rational is defined as “based on or derived from reason or reasoning, esp. as opposed to emotion, intuition, instinct, etc” (Oxford). Rationality was heralded as the answer to all problems and the path to a perfect society; while these views are considered extreme in today’s culture, reason is still viewed as mostly infallible. In The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman, the Merced doctors treating Lia were raised and educated in a Western culture that taught the superiority and successfulness of using logic to deduce problems, so when they are faced with the “irrational’ behavior of the Lee family they are frustrated. The doctors stubbornly believe that Western medicine is what will save Lia, not the Lee family’s traditional healing, which ultimately is a contributing factor to Lia’s demise. The medical staff’s firm belief in the superiority of rational thinking is one of the many factors that led to the demise of Lia Lee because they were uncompromising on their position on how to heal Lia.
The doctors at the MCMC, despite working in a hospital where 1 in 5 patients were Hmong, were steady in their disdain toward Hmong homeopathic remedies because they followed a different belief system. When Hmong patients came into the hospital, their traditions and customary means of healing were ignored by…

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