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In This Sign Essay

1137 words - 5 pages

In the fiction novel, In This Sign, Joanne Greenberg writes about the detailed troubles of a deaf couple and their hearing daughter as they age and the world around them changes. By writing this book, Greenberg helps many people view the deaf world’s perspective on what it is like for someone to struggle trying to fit in the hearing society. Throughout the book is something similar to a history lesson as well as being relative to most people’s lives. I say this because throughout the book, many people could compare their lives to the scenarios in the book and find it almost parallel.
The story starts off with Janice and Abel during a winter long ago, dressed in summer clothing. People were ...view middle of the document...

They both knew that life was hard enough just taking care of themselves, and it would only be worse having to add an extra mouth to feed.
When the baby was born, they named her Margarate. After she was born, the new family was forced to leave the small room they were living in and to find a place big enough for them to all live together. Since Janice couldn’t work in the mill, she worked from home with a noisy sewing machine. Abel had noticed that baby Margarate would cry every time the machine started up, concluding the assumption that their child was hearing. After having Margarate, Janice and Abel had a baby boy named Bradley. As the family grew, they got more involved with the church and the beautiful immaculate signs the pastor signed. As Abel got a new job, they had over a guest for dinner from the place he was recently hired at. This man was deaf as well but didn’t know sign and was communicating with Abel. Since everyone in the house was occupied with something at the moment, nobody was paying attention to young Bradley as he fell down the stairs and died instantly.
As the family was shopping for a coffin to bury Bradley in, the salesman tried selling them expensive coffins assuming the child meant something to the family. Since Abel and Janice were not only poor, they didn’t understand the relationship they had with their children. They saw them as extra baggage to take care of, not having any real loving relationships with them. After Bradley’s death, the great depression had hit. Since Bradley dies, Margarate no longer had to stay at home to take care of him, so she was finally enrolled in school. It was an ironic moment at one point during the great depression when everyone was getting laid off from their jobs. Abel was working steadily, making decent pay as many people from the hearing world didn’t have jobs at all. He saw this as humorous because for once, a deaf man was greater than hearing men.
Time progresses quickly in the book and Margarate is older now, about to graduate from high school. For graduation, she had been saying how much she wanted a radio for her senior gift. When the time came, she saw her...

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