Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams

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Homero, a character in Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Dreams, has Alzheimer’s disease. He is one of the reasons that Cosima, the main character, and his daughter, comes home. Homero’s, or Doc Homer’s, disease is not unique. More than 5.3 million US citizens in 2015 have developed Alzheimer's, and it is the only cause of death that cannot be slowed down, prevented, or cured. A title such as Animal Dreams begs to be explained. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, having dreams about animals may be an early warning sign of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. A study that was conducted over 14,600 patients in 2011 (Kingsolver’s novel was originally published in 1990) showed that people with sleep troubles involving dreams about animals are 33% more likely…show more content…
Doc Homer had tried to erase certain elements of his past by changing his name and pretending to forget that his family came from the Gracela valley. Again, just as Codi begins to ask him direct questions about these facts, the Alzheimer's disease affects his memory so that he truly believes he isn’t from Grace, so he can’t tell his daughter the truth even though he thinks he is. Near the end of the novel Codi loses her only sister, Hallie, to the contras in Africa. With Doc Homer’s battle against disease nearly to a close, Codi makes a decision to leave Grace, Loyd, and Doc Homer to go live with Carlo, her ex-lover in Telluride, Colorado. Approximately halfway there, she turns around and realizes her entire life is back in Grace. She knows that she has another death to face, if she returns, but this knowledge doesn’t faze her. She has learned the importance of having a home from her flighty sister, who died without…show more content…
In 2010, Congress unanimously passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which declared the goal of preventing or effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. This sounds great, but so far funding in 2015 has fallen about 2 billion dollars short on reaching the annual estimated amount in order to successfully complete their 2025 goal. “It’s turned out that the disease is more complicated than people thought and those breakthroughs aren’t there.” says Dr. Victor Henderson of Stanford University. Regardless, Henderson is hopeful that a combination of “modest breakthroughs” will be eventually used to slow down Alzheimer’s, and add years to a person's

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