Clan Of The One-Breasted Woman Essay

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The Clan of One-Breasted Woman tells the tale of Terry Tempest Williams’ life as a Mormon who has cancer, just like nearly 0every woman in the family as well. Williams begins by giving a brief summary of her family’s history and its health. She writes that her family is aligned with good foods: no coffee, no tea, tobacco, or alcohol, and that, prior to the 1960’s, only one family member had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She does this to provide a clear example that her family is healthy and has no genetic strain that would indicate hereditary breast cancer. There is obviously another factor in play – an unnatural factor. She tells us the saddening story of her mother’s death and her discovery that her recurring dreams of flashes of light during the night were in fact real, and were actually a nuclear test that had occurred back in the fifties when she was just a child. This was new information for her and she quickly put one and one together: the cancer was caused by these governmental-approved nuclear tests near innocent American civilians.
Williams goes on to provide the reader with a brief summary of the nuclear situation at the time. She writes about how the government told the public nuclear testing was not dangerous and was needed to beat the enemy, and writes about the important law suit “Irene Allen vs the United States of America” which started educating the people and even the government about the harmful effects of nuclear testing near and around the public. Finally on May 10, 1984 the United States awarded plaintiffs for the damages. According to Williams, “it was the first time a federal court had determined that nuclear tests had been the cause of cancers.” However, the next year the Court of Appeals overturned the ruling based on a century-old idea from Monarchial England which meant that the United States was protected from suit by the legal document of sovereign immunity. All they cared about was being right, no matter how wrong they...

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