By Jenell Johnson
American Lobotomy reviews a wide selection of representations of lobotomy to provide a rhetorical background of 1 of the main notorious techniques within the background of drugs. the advance of lobotomy in 1935 was once heralded as a “miracle medication” that will empty the nation’s perennially blighted asylums. although, in simple terms 20 years later, lobotomists firstly praised for his or her “therapeutic braveness” have been condemned for his or her barbarity, a picture that has basically soured in next a long time. Johnson employs formerly deserted texts like technological know-how fiction, horror movie, political polemics, and conspiracy conception to teach how lobotomy’s entanglement with social and political narratives contributed to a robust photograph of the operation that persists to today. The e-book provocatively demanding situations the background of drugs, arguing that rhetorical heritage is important to knowing clinical heritage. It bargains a case research of ways medication accumulates which means because it circulates in public tradition and argues for the necessity to comprehend biomedicine as a culturally positioned perform.
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Additional info for American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History
Chapter 3 complicates this conventional explanation for lobotomy’s medical decline by exploring a diverse set of texts in which the American public worried about lobotomy’s political value as a mode of personality change in the early years of the Cold War. The image of the psychiatric profession that emerged 18 American Lobotomy from these texts gripped the American imagination so thoroughly that many of the nation’s psychiatrists were forced to grapple with its impact, citing the wildest of conspiracy theories in their professional journals and preparing and distributing public rebuttals of their critics.
How long’s this going on? Doctor: Two hours. Patient: Two hours? I can’t last that long. (Squeezes hand). Doctor: How do you feel? Patient: I don’t feel anything but they’re cutting me now. Doctor: You wanted it? Patient: Yes, but I didn’t think you’d do it awake. O Gee whiz, I’m dying. O doctor. Please stop. O, God. I’m goin again. Oh, oh, oh. Ow. ) Oh, this is awful. Ow (He grabs my hand and sinks his nails into it). . Doctor: How do you feel? Doctor: You’re grabbing me awful tight. Patient: Am I?
We are not particuarly concerned if a patient retains his hallucinations and delusions,” Freeman and Watts commented. “If a patient can take care of himself after operation we are satisfied with the results” (739). Self-sufficiency was deemed so therapeutically valuable that it superceded the loss of other cognitive functions, like creativity, which was often impaired after the operation. After lobotomy, if a patient is no longer able to paint pictures, write poetry or compose music, he is, on the other hand, no longer ashamed to fetch and carry, to wait on table [sic] or make beds or empty cans.
American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History by Jenell Johnson