The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks | Study Guide

Rebecca Skloot

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Course Hero. (2017, August 11). The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved October 22, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Immortal-Life-of-Henrietta-Lacks/

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Course Hero. "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Study Guide." August 11, 2017. Accessed October 22, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Immortal-Life-of-Henrietta-Lacks/.

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Course Hero, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Study Guide," August 11, 2017, accessed October 22, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Immortal-Life-of-Henrietta-Lacks/.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks | Part 3, Chapter 36 : Heavenly Bodies (2001) | Summary

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Summary

Gary goes through Bible passages with Skloot to show her the scripture about eternal life. Gary believes Henrietta was chosen as an angel and exists in her cells as a spiritual body, and the Bible appears to confirm this for him. Skloot starts to understand why the Lackses believe Henrietta has been "chosen by the Lord to become an immortal being." The Lacks family takes the Bible literally; its answers are "so much more concrete than the explanation offered by science." Gary thinks understanding the Lackses' beliefs might convert Skloot.

Analysis

Skloot may be a scientist at heart, but she cannot help but understand how clear and simple the explanations in the Bible are for the Lacks family. This interaction with Gary allows her to gain a deeper understanding of the attitudes the Lacks family has about the cells, as well as their fears. She also realizes the complex explanations McKusick and others gave the family didn't seem plausible to them; the Biblical explanation seems far more reasonable. Skloot may not convert to Christianity, but she does gain a different viewpoint on religion, and it opens her mind to new possibilities.

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