Themes In Lisa Genova's 'Still Alice'

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Still Alice, is the fictional work of author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova (Genova, About Lisa). At 50 years old Alice Howard is satisfied with the life that she has made for herself, her husband, and three grown children. She is a successful cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and an expert in linguistics. However, Alice is at the height of her life when she begins to have frequent “memory disturbances” and is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. The book follows Alice through her recognition of the disease, her diagnosis, and the progression of early onset Alzheimer’s. The story is one of suffering, struggle, conflict, persistence, and compassion. “Coping has been established as a critical factor in the relationship between stressful events and physical and psychological adaptation.” (Sorensen, Waldorff, & Waldemar, 2009) A main themes found throughout Still Alice was Alice’s ability to cope with the changes that are placed in front of her at the beginning of the story. As a Ph.D. professor at Harvard and linguistics expert, Alice is informed that she suffers from a disease that is going to take her memory and eventually her ability to function away. Alice is fighting a battle she cannot and will not win, Alzheimer’s is an incurable disease, while the progression can be slowed there is nothing that can be done to stop …show more content…
I feel this helps us to get the full effect of how Alice’s life develops from where she starts to where the book ends. While fictional Alice is an amazing person who attempts to the best of her abilities to not allow the disease that is slowly destroying her mind to destroy her completely; she attempts to maintain what memories she can. The following quote from Alice’s speech at the Dementia Care Conference hit me in a soft spot and it stayed in my mind, I remembered it long after completing that portion of the

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