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The Untrodden Ways: The Story Of Lucy Written By Hannah Mussett

1473 words - 6 pages

Exceptional IndividualDanica DiGiacomoDr. Shapiro4/10/03The Untrodden Ways: The Story of LucyThe Untrodden Ways: The Story of Lucy was written by Hannah Mussett in 1975 and takes place in England's countryside. The book was written for the sole purpose of educating people on how Mussett and other parents feel when raising a child like Lucy in the mid-seventies. Lucy was born with Down Syndrome but in the book they refer to her as a Mongol. A Mongol was a common word to describe people with Down Syndrome a few decades ago. Down Syndrome is a chromosome abnormality caused usually by an extra 21st chromosome. Children with Down Syndrome have a distinct characteristic appearance. The shape of the head is usually smaller, the nose is flattened, tongue protruded, and eyes slanted upward. A person with Down Syndrome usually does not reach average adult height, and also has stubby hands and fingers.Mussett begins the book by talking about her family before she became pregnant with Lucy. She speaks about how happy and playful her three year old healthy daughter, Julia, is. Early in the novel Mussett becomes impregnated and begins worrying early on about the outcome of the baby's birth. This anxiety was brought on by an article she read in the newspaper discussing a mother of a deformed infant with a condition called Thalidomide. The article went on to state that the mother murdered her new-born out of mercy. The article made Mussett anxious and worried for the welfare of her own child. "No mother pregnant at that time could have read the newspaper reports of this and other deformed babies without becoming anxious about their own" (Mussett, 13). Unfortunately she says she bore a child with a disability and immediately wanted to discard it, kill it, end its life. She attempts at killing Lucy many times but through some "act of God" she does not and spares Lucy.Mussett describes her first few weeks with Lucy as depressing and heartbreaking. The problems that occurred because of Lucy's disability affected the entire family and were mainly brought on by Mussett's worries, not by Lucy herself. One notices throughout the book that Lucy actually does not cause many issues until she becomes older and more active. In the beginning of the book Lucy was content sitting in her carrier, lolling her head watching the trees but despite this from the beginning Mussett questioned Lucy's future and that of her families. Most importantly she worried for the future of her daughter Julia whom she feared would have the same restrictions as she did when growing up with a deaf sibling. Julia became withdrawn and quiet which was unusual for the energetic growing child. Julia was even taken to a doctor so that she could be evaluated. Mussett's husband Martin was supportive and loving throughout the entire pregnancy and birth of Lucy. He supported Mussett in all her decisions and helped in any way he could. Mussett herself was affected by Post Pregnancy syndrome in which she was...

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