Lit across Cultures II: Theory
Geek Love Analytical Paper
We as people are conditioned to think that disability is something horrible and to be feared. Naturally it makes us uncomfortable because we know it can and probably will happen to us at any time and place. When we see someone who is disabled, most cannot help but to feel pity for the person and assume that due to their disability, they are miserable and unhappy. We tend to think because they do not look “normal” to us; life must be horrible for them. In Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn, we see through the Bineski family how disability is actually perceived as something positive and extraordinary rather than negative. It is safe to say that the Bineski family (mainly the children) would not be happy or feel special if they were non-disabled.
Before I start on my argument, I believe it necessary to explain the difference between disability and impairment since people often get the two confused. Disability is defined in two ways- as “a lack of adequate power, strength, or physical or mental ability” and as “what you cannot do because the environment and social attitudes block you from doing it.” Impairment is a “condition of your body”. The impairment is not usually what is disabling, but the environmental and attitudinal barriers are. People have the tendency to believe that because you are disabled, you are not able to do anything for yourself, live a full, normal life and hold a job. The characters in Geek Love strongly go against these assumptions. Starting off with the parents, they knew what it meant to be different. To be different to them meant to be special. They wanted a different way of living and because they were normal and non-disabled, felt the way to go about this was to have disabled children which would naturally make them stand out. In the book, the father states “What greater gift could you offer your children than an inherent ability to earn a living just by being...