Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives Of Human Cadavers

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In Mary Roach's novel "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers", she gives a run through of what all happens to cadavers after they have passed away. Mary explains in each chapter experiences and research she has done with the uses of cadavers. I believe she wrote this book in a pursuit to try and show the more positive connotation of a cadaver that most people don't think about. The novel uses a descriptive way to explain how anatomy students and scientists used cadavers in the past and how they use them today. She also tried to lighten the mood of it all with jokes and make it not seem as bad. Not joking about the dead of course, but saying things like, "The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship.…show more content…
I only wonder because Roach was not afraid of saying the wrong thing what-so-ever. Yes, she joked about it lightly, but no, I did not find anything she said offending to a particular cadaver or member of the dead. She didn't joke about specific figures, she simply lightened the mood of death as a whole; she made it not so gloomy and depressing. To me, there wasn't a time she left an awful fact about the history of cadavers and their uses with a thought about how awful it was; she always finished a fact with an uplifting statement that did not make the end of her information as dull as it could have been. Another thing I was wondering throughout the whole book was what she was going to do with her body when she passed away, but she got around to explaining that at the end of her novel. She explained all the things she could do with her body, but claimed it would ultimately be up to her husband what science could do with her after her time. My final question, if I was speaking to her, would have been what do you think your husband would allow them to do? He must know that you are really into science, so maybe he would let your body be a part of a study. He could even take into consideration some of…show more content…
She was talking about how surgeons do face-lifts by moving the malar fat pad back where it started out in a person's face. Malar means relating to the cheek, so you would find the malar fat pad in the cheek (page 26, paragraph 2). Moving this pad back to its original position helps stop sagging around the corners of the mouth. Another relation to anatomy that I found in the book was Rigor Mortis. This can occur twenty-four hours after a person has died; it happens when their body has an amount of potassium still left in their muscles that caused them to twitch or move (page 61, paragraph 2). Later on, when Roach is telling how medical examiners use color codes when looking at many reports at one time, her book mentions extremities and a transection of the body (page 117, paragraph 1). In anatomy, when you are talking about extremities you are referring to arms and legs; in the book they use this to explain if a passenger has lost an arm or leg in an accident. Then, when you are using the word transection you are talking about something that has been cut across; in the book, they use this word to say a body was cut into two pieces. Finally, my last relationship to anatomy that I found in the book was when she shared how a man doing research on how Christ may have hung from his cross was referring to the ulnar edge of the elbow (page 158,

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