The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
This is a dramatic, profoundly felt, and carefully explored story of the devastating experience between two different customs. This concerns the Western medication and Eastern religious studies. Lia was by now seven years old in 1988 and according to the views and the investigations done by her doctors, her brain was found to be dead. According to the views of Lee, the spirit had escaped her body and hence it was perceived to be lost. The epileptic attack begun in her first three months as it is explained by Lee. The treatment of this illness was to some extent very complex for it was changed twenty three times in a span of four years. This was because, the medicine that was administered to her were bad hence was worsening her situation.
However, there was the belief that failure to comply with the doctors’ prescription and instructions would result to child abuse as the doctor had recommended Lee to offer Lia the foster care she needed. A few months subsequent to her going back home, Lia was again taken to hospital as she had generated an immense attack that actually shattered her brain. With bereavement being thought to be impending, her family was allowed to take her home. In two years later, it was realized that the expected was not to happen because Lia was under the strong care of her parents as it was said by Fadiman. Thus, there was a cultural ceremony prepared in order to bring revival to Lia through reuniting her body with the soul. The Hmong Ceremony was to bring healing for it involved the pig sacrifice that was to be done in their apartment.
In this heart- breaking tale, Fadiman brings forth the description of Hmong account from prehistoric times to the current, as well as their occupation in the CIA in Laos and their relocation in America, their etiquette ,culture, ethics, and spiritual beliefs. Whilst Fadiman is enthusiastically conscious of the disappointment faced by doctors in their determination to offer therapeutic care to persons with such a fundamentally special worldview, she recommends that medical doctors should at least recognize their patients’ authenticity. This advice relates to the radiant lessons in “cross-cultural medication” (Touraine 169) where the modern from of medication and the cultural fro is compromised.
The issue of Culture plays a significant responsibility in The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. The incorporations of issues such as religion food and language comprise the wholeness of culture of any given society. The social life today is changing for “I think that this is the fundamental difference between the end of the nineteenth century and the end of the twentieth” (Touraine 167). It is with relation to the end of the nineteenth century where the actor’s view of Hmong Social cultural issue is analyzed. These social issues include religion, language and food. This the issue of culture gives the notable difference between the past world with the present from of social factors which involve the change of language and religion due to the introduction of education system. The Hmong language is said to have eight idiosyncratic tones. The onomatopoeia is said to be one aspect of this language. The people of the Hmong customarily live in the world that State. In addition, their delicacy and diet is strongly related to their approach of social life. In their mother country, the community farm opium and rice as the only agricultural produce. Meat has been used to compliment Rice, which is their vital staple food. Pig has been preferred to be the major source of meat for the community because they rear them in large numbers.
The Hmong people in the US are mostly immigrant families who helped the Central Intelligence Agency militaristic hard work in Laos. They are an ethnic group with a determinedly conventional culture that mingles the issues of physical condition with mysticism that may be deemed prehistoric by the values of people of western. The story also brings the relation between modernization and the prehistoric way of living that incorporate the traditional form of treatment and the modern form of health administration.
The issue of cultural understanding is a major point of focus due to the relation of the present events with the past. The writer uses the encounter between the health physicians of Lia’s guardians and Merced as a way of highlighting that there is need to be more receptive to the assortment of aspects of diverse traditions such that we are not the melting jar we have at all times asserted to be. We have formed an outstanding, and almost certainly rather incomparable, “balance between tradition and progress, the local and the global, or at any rate the entire, which has lasted for a nearly for a long time” (Touraine 167).
In this kind of society, in order to succeed, the prehistoric events in the modern society need not to be banished away for they form the basis of the communal dignity. The interaction between the past and the present also creates room for evaluation that triggers new methods of improving the current state. This refers to the suggestion that the physicians entailed not only to accept the idea along with their medicinal dealing, but they also needed to acknowledge that there should also be opportunity for the Hmong notion of the spirit. In other words, “compromise is required in some instances so that efficiency might be achieved in the social life” (Touraine 169).
The conflict between the two cultures brings the concept that greatly demands the attention depicting that nothing is absolute and there is no reality. Hence, we can only realize the progress in the reduction of wrongs. Science in addition to society is continuously developing and conforming to innovative annotations and information. In the impressive proposal of ideas, if the communal view of the Hmong about the world works for various numbers of people, then it ought to be appreciated. However, when two ethnicity crash, preferably both cultures will view the state of affairs with equal hold for the other’s thoughts and viewpoint. The Fadiman’s writing is “not prejudiced for it brings about the proposal that there’s unison in multiplicity; this perception seems to be a fundamental argument all through the book” (Fadiman 56).
In this study, the audience should have a wide viewpoint in order to achieve much of the objectives of the writer thus not missing out the key issues. This is because the reality that is enhanced by the world reflector is a clear manifest of our nervous system. It gives the concept of relationship between things. For instance, the relationship of how neurobiology is linked to other scholastic order such as psychology and philosophy. The relationship between the brain working and the nervous is among the key elements in the proper functioning of the body. In other instances, there should be compromise in the area of professional thus bringing flexibility property in social life. This is with reference to where cultural form of treatment was applied to heal the Lia’s illness as the medicinal way of treatment had failed.
Love is another element that was vital in Lia’s illness. The physicians held rigid stand to their way of diagnosing while the Lee’s required reverence for their traditions. The frame of mind is one of the disappointment and stress all through in the book as the writer attempts to give details of how the conflict of two ethnicities led to the catastrophe of a girl to be left in a vegetative state. There are instants of achievement when people gain knowledge from the inaccuracy of the earlier period, but they are a small in number and distant amid the disastrous periods for little Lia.
Therefore, in order to achieve communal cohesion and integration, there is need to relate the past with the present occurrence. For instance, in the Lia’s treatment there is incorporation of the modern way of treatment that did not work, and the traditional form of treatment. Hence, the issue of culture change and transformation is determined by the relation of the prehistoric events with the present occurrences.
Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997. Print.
Touraine, Alain. “Social Transformations of the Twentieth Century.” International Social Science Journal. 50.156 (1998): 165. Print.
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