Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Your Phineas Gage Review - Summer Assignment Part 2: Due Aug. 20

After you have read Phineas Gage and worked on the Phineas Gage Reading Guide Questions you should post your review of the book in the COMMENTS to THIS blog post.    (use the "comment" link below this post) 




Your comment should be a review of the book. A book review is a critical assessment of the book in which you share your opinions (claims) about the book and back up those opinions with examples from the book (evidence). Be sure to describe the story AND the style of the book. 

Some questions you might want to think about as you write: What did you think of the book? What did you find most interesting? What are some new or surprising things you learned from the book? Why do you think Phineas was "lucky" or "unlucky?" Are there other texts (books, movies, etc.) that relate to the story of Phineas? Why or why would you not recommend it to a friend? 

As with the last blog assignment, I will not show the comments until the deadline so everyone has a chance to work on the assignment without being too influenced by other peoples' work. Do not re-send your post multiple times.
Please note: As always you can e-mail me with questions. If you're having trouble with the blog, just e-mail me your comment so you have evidence you completed it before the deadline. 

And just for fun.... 

21 comments:

April A said...

4April Ayala

The book “Phineas Gage a Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science” is a very interesting story that I’m sure a lot of students will find very interesting. Phineas Gage was an American railroad construction foreman who is remembered by the tragic accident in which his tamping iron went through his skull. This story really captured my attention by the way it was written. The narrator literally talks to you and speaks in past, present, and future. He describes things that will later happen in history and it felt cool reading about one time period, yet learning about another. The book is very descriptive and gives a clear overlook of into a lot of medical terms that are all about the human brain. It also provides pictures with captions to help you better understand what’s going on in the story.
I really liked this book. I surprised myself to how much I liked it. I hate reading and once I started reading the book, I was lost in it. It got my attention and I found it so interesting. I learned so many things about the brain that I started to tell my family members. I learned what Broca’s area is. That it’s the part of the brain that allows you to speak. And I learned about the brain cortex and all the names. (Frontal Lobe, occipital Lobe, brain stem etc) This book taught me so much and I was thrilled to learn more that I started to research more and more about Phineas and his predicament. It was fascinating how his personality changed drastically. How his vocabulary changed in the presence of a woman and how he treated his employees when he returned. I also thought that the open brain was pretty cool. What I found the most surprising is how he lived! The fact that he survived that was just astonishing.
In my opinion, I think Phineas Gage was very much lucky. Yeah his personality changed. Yeah he got a tamping iron stuck in his skull. SO WHAT? How often do you get to say you got penetrated in the head with a tamping iron and LIVED??? He got that scar forever and I would say that’s a battle wound! The fact that he survived it just lucky. He found a way to deal with it. He changed and he made the best of it. He took care of himself and got out to see the world. He lived his life and died happy. With his family who got to know both sides of him. He lived the life no one could ever say they lived.
That’s why I love this book so much. It was so cool that he had the worst accident you could possibly imagine. It missed his eye, Broca’s area and two key sections of the cortex and lived. With a big whole in his head! I would definitely recommend this to a friend. Matter of fact I already did! And people say that it must be a really good book since YOU like it. Me being the person who hates to read.

mariana deras said...

Mariana Deras 08/21/14

Phineas Gage an intriguing, horrifying and amazing story. I found the book about Phineas gage accident really interesting not only because of the story but also because of the style in which this is written, yes the book focuses on Phineas gage accident with the 13 pound iron rod that entered through his left cheek to his forehead but also the author John Fleischman provides scientific background and examples of how scientists and doctors used to think in different time periods for example, no one in 1848 knew that bacteria caused infection and that with an open brain injury Phineas was susceptible to infections, and it wasn’t until 1868 when Joseph Lister performed the first sterile operation that the number of deaths from infection declined by a 90%.

This book not only taught me about Phineas it also gave me the opportunity to gain more knowledge, there were things that surprised me for example, the brain acts as a whole but is composed of different areas that perform different functions if one of this areas is affected or removed the brain can still work but it will never be the same. Phineas lost his ability to socialize and went from being a good and respected man to being unreliable and vulgar according to Dr. Damasio studies our frontal lobes are set up so that we can get along with other humans and be sociable, the images on page 71 show that Phineas frontal lobes were affected and that’s the reason why he became unsociable.

Was Phineas lucky or unlucky?? From my point of view phineas was lucky he survived that tragic incident because even though he was never the same person again;he didn’t die, his brain was pierced but he was lucky enough In terms of not damaging any vital functions, he found a way to live, he traveled and he his accident helped to understand the behavior of the brain and its functions.

Jaslyn A said...

The story of the book was about Phineas who survived a horrible accident that changed his life forever. He was severely struck by a tamping iron that caused damage to his frontal lobe. From this accident he was not the same Phineas he was before. As the book talked about how he changed that's when I started to get interested the most in his story.

What I found interesting is how the brain has different parts that control different aspects of us. I never really took inconsideration how serious brain damage could be and how serve it can ruin a person until I read this book. What literally knocked me off my feet was how calm and stable Phineas was after his accident. How he was able to communicate and knew what had happened to him. He acted like as if nothing happened. That literally blew my mind!!!! What also blew my mind is how Scientist were in the 1860s and how scientist have changed over time.

The style of the book is a narrative bibliography combined together. I wish the book would of got more into detail about Phineas life such as his ambitions he had for himself, and life goals he wanted to reach. The reason why because I wonder if he ever wanted to get married and have kids. If we readers knew all those things, then we readers would really see more in how the accident did change him and how much toll it had on his life as he wasn't able to accomplish things he hoped for in his future. I would recommend this book to a friend because you learn the struggles of life through Phineas in this terrifying accident he experienced. Also you get to learn how science itself has developed over time from Phineas accident as well. Which I find intriguing

Leonardo M. said...

Review of “Phineas Gage” by John Fleischman

The intriguing reality of Phineas Gage is narrated by John Fleischman in a short book that is fun and easy to read. The book is under a 100 pages and divided into four chapters. The illustrations appear all over the book making it easy to understand and they keep you, the reader, interested even though sometimes they make you wonder off the main subject a little.
This is a great book for people who like science or want to be doctors, but it’s also a book for everyone because it involves history, it teaches people parts and functions of the brain, and finally it’s an amazing and interesting book to read. I’ll definitely recommend it to many of my friends who like this type of books and stories. To finish I believe that Phineas was mostly lucky because he was given the chance to live not only another day, but many years more in which he accomplished many things more and he was also able to spend some time with his family.

Miguel Espinoza said...

Let me start off by saying that I read about Phineas Gage on my flight to Mexico, Acapulco. Once I started reading, I didn't stop. The life of Phineas Gage is extraordinary. The details of when Phineas Gage was stricken by his tampering iron are great. I imagined every single detail without a problem. The author John Fleischman does a great job of making his audience understand the general parts of the brain so we can understand Gage's injury at a greater extent. The book's tone is mysterious and serious. What kept me reading was my curiosity as to what happens next in Gage's life. Phineas Gage managed to survive a pointy end of his tampering iron that "...entered under his left cheek-bone, pass behind his left eye, through the front of his brain, and out the middle of his forehead just above the hairline." His physical recovery was for the most part successful, but his mental recovery was only partial.
What I found most interesting was that Gage lived with an actual hole in his head for eleven years. I didn't know that was possible. I learned a lot of new things from this book. I learned that certain parts of the brain control certain actions that humans perform. Actions such as our language, our behavior, imagination, emotions, etc. I feel that Gage's accident was unlucky. As the case of Phineas suggest, "..we are "hardwired" to be sociable. When we lose that ability, we end up like Phineas. His closest companion was an iron rod." I believe that being human is the ability to socialize, and be able to communicate and interpret others with the "right" sense of emotion. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend because it has great information on an extraordinary person and great information on how the brain works.

Andrea Suastegui said...

What I found the most interesting was that Mr Gage was unsociable. His mom recalled that, " He was extremely fond of his nephew's and niece's." Dr. Hollow concludes that Phineas had " A great fondness for children, horses, and dogs- only exceeded by his attachment for his tamping iron, which was his constant companion during the remainder of his life." Mr. Gage communicated more with animals and children. He was an adult, normally adults love to socialize with one and other but Phineas lost that when the tamping iron pierced through his cheek and skull. The tamping iron struck him in his frontal lobes. "Our frontal lobes are setup so we can get along with other humans... when we lose that ability, we end up like Phineas."

I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. This book teaches you so much about the brain. About how if it had struck him a little more to the side he could of died instantly which is why I think he's lucky. He got to live 11 more years. He adjusted so well to his new life. He felt as if nothing had happened. Any one would of stayed in shock but Phineas was different he just wanted to get back to work back to his life basically. He didn't see the changes in his personality. This book is definitely worth reading you learn so much about the brain. This book will captivate any of my friends. I gotta say "Phineas Gage" took me by surprise. I was expecting it to be completely boring! Because you know some teachers assign the most unpleasant books. But no, this book had my full attention. I personally love when authors go into depth. The details of this book are amazing; you can picture everything John Fleischman wrote. This book is very informal and mysterious. It leaves you wondering what's going to happen next so you continue reading flipping pages non stop! Especially when the author says, "Making synaptic connections is how your brain actually thinks, learns, remembers, acts, and reacts." It's like you want to know more and more about how the brain functions. I learned so much in a couple of pages.
-Andrea Suastegui

Ethan Dacensio said...

The book “Phineas Gage a Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science” is a very interesting story. Phineas Gage was a railroad construction foreman who had a terrible accident while working. An explosion caused a tamping iron to “enter underneath Gage’s left cheekbone, go behind his left eye, & exit through his forehead, just below his hairline”. While an accident like this, one would assume that Gage would have died when the tamping rod impacted his face. Remarkably, Gage survived the accident. As a matter a fact, Gage actually was alive for 11 more years after the accident occurred. I would consider Phineas Gage to be both lucky & unlucky. He was lucky because of the fact that he lived 11 more years of life after his horrific accident. However, I would consider him to be unlucky because he just wasn't the same. He was said to be “more unreliable, vulgar & never seemed to get along with his workers. He also suffered many seizures later in his life, which may have led to his death. If I had to pick one, I would have to say that Phineas Gage was “lucky” because of the fact that he was alive for another 11 years, after having a sharp metal iron shoot into his head!!
I really enjoyed this book. I expected this book to be a little boring, but it surprisingly wasn't. I liked the way the book was written also. The book seems to, “talk to you”, making you more interested to read ahead. The book was also fairly easy to read. When a book is too difficult to understand, most of the time I tend to not read it, but this book wasn’t too hard to read, yet not too easy at the same time.
There is a lot of new information that I learned about in this book. I learned about the different parts of the brain, & what they do. I learned that doctors in 1850 did not take the same precautionary procedures that doctor’s today take (washing their hands before surgery, wearing a mask & gloves, etc.). I also learned about the “Whole Brainers” & “Localizers & read their theories on how the brain worked.

I would definitely recommend this to a friend. This book may be a great read for someone who is interested in the field of neurology, or for someone who may want to become a neurologist, but I also believe that Phineas’ accident & reading about how he managed to live for 11 years afterwards will catch people’s interest.

Daisy .R said...

Part 1

Phineas Gage story is a very special one, as well as incomparable with other told stories resulting with a similar mental damage. Is unique. I honestly believe the same way as Phineas doctor did, ‘’God healed him’’. The possibilities of Phineas dyeing from the accident, was very high or was extremely close to happened, but he was lucky enough to survive the way he did for eleven years. The 13 pound tamping iron could have struck his brain a bit deeper, he probably could have ended up unconscious his entire life. Because the brain has a variety of functional systems through, which helps a human speak, think, understand, and basically be a normal person. It’s a miracle how it didn’t damage the main areas of the brain that are the most important functions of a human being, like the Broca’s area, which allows us to speak and Wernicke’s area, which also allows us to understand what is spoken as well. If you take a look at page 71, it clearly shows how the tamping iron struck right in the middle of the brain where a line parts, dividing the brain in two, as well as the thickness of the iron is shown. It right away makes me think, how impossible is to believe that Phineas was not damage from the motor cortex area of the brain, even though it shows the iron trespassing that section. The motor cortex allows movement in our body, but before it does that, the motor cortex receives information from other lobes of the brain, but Phineas had movement in his eleven years left of life. You also could see how the iron struck in the front of the center of the brain where also the frontal lobe is, somewhere in the same location and the motor cortex above it. If you compare it with page 72 you’ll see what I am trying to say. But after all, he still tried his best to live on, being able to maintain himself, even though he wasn’t the original Phineas Gage anymore.

Daisy .R said...


Part 2

Being a railroad construction foreman, wasn’t an easy job in the first place. It pertain a lot of deadly risks, and dangers, especially to Phineas. He was the boss of his workers. He took charge that everyone did their job. Phineas dedicated himself blasting rocks, which require explosions all the time with a granite. It followed a very critical and detailed process. It had to be done extremely carefully. He did this all the time, repeatedly. At the tip of every explosion he had to run for his life before the explosion occurred seconds away. When the horrible accident happened to Phineas it was when he didn’t took precaution , or was distracted as some say, but the thing is, the explosion took place unexpectedly where he was. In which he resulted with a severe and horrid injury in his head, where an iron rod stroked across the inside of his face right through the frontier of the brain. Dr. Harlow was Phineas doctor, he cared for his wound and was in charge for his full recovery, but Phineas was left with a hole on his skull by the accident. Phineas was his normal self for about two days after the accident, but afterwards he showed sickening signs of infection. He also gave a drastic change of a person when he recovered from that. This time he wasn’t the Phineas everyone knew. He was vulgar, unreliable, and insulting. He wasn’t well sociable with friends and relatives anymore. He had to be taken out of his job cause of that. On the other hand, he got along with children and horses very good. There was scientists that believe the actual story of Phineas, but others didn’t believe such story, it was not realistic to them. Each of them came up with different theories. As in this time, very little was actually known of the brain.

Daisy .R said...

Part 3


The story was a very particular one that surprised me. The story is very informative as you go. It explains how in Phineas time, people weren’t actualize to the knowledge we now know of many modern medical and psychological facts that has been found to cure and prevent. It tells you how unsafely the doctors worked with their patients and the way they wrongly thought of the brain function, and the so called infection they didn’t know about. The telling of the story not only was informative, but was very imaginable, it’s very descriptive and detailed. It also included photos that would give comprehension of what they were explaining in psychological terms. I really loved it, not only you were reading a true incredible story that penetrated shivers, but you also obtain knowledge of how the brain works. You also got to know of a man that suffered physically, and wasn’t fully mentally stable, but you end up admiring him. How much pain he had to sustain till his death. He was optimistic in a way, he was an active man, wanting to keep working, nonstop. He was always in search of something, he wasn’t confirmative with his state of life. Everything else might have change Phineas, but the one thing he always had was being a hardworking man. Phineas was a very lucky man that even thought he had a tremendous injury on his brain and was left with permanent damage on his skull, he was still able to care for himself, he knew what he was doing, and he found the sense of life to live like a regular person. Thank God he was still able to hear, speak, move, and understand even after the accident. The unlucky part was the continuous brain problems he had, which made him sick and weaker each time. Also the different person he came to be cause by the damage from the accident, which marked his entire life.
At the same time it was quiet a goose bump the way Phineas accident turned out to be. It’s very incredible how the iron rod penetrated to his cheekbone all the way to his forehead. Is unbelievable how he actually survived everything, and the horrific pain he must have felt, but he was a strong man. A few hours after the accident Phineas talked cheerfully, like if nothing actually had happen, telling people about the incident (Pg8-9).This part caught my most interest, it left me with my eyes wide open, how Phineas could still react with calmness and be socializing. If it was me, I would be horribly screaming and crying by the immense pain. It’s very shocking. I would definitely recommend the book to a friend, because is a story that gives you so many emotions as you read. It’s an astonishing story that keeps you focus, it thrives curiosity into the reader, is very unpredictable, because is an unusual story. It amuses you how Phineas could have survive. But at the end it leaves you sad, but satisfied to think that Phineas is resting in peace, not suffering anymore.

Patricia M said...

The Phineas Cage book was a magnificent case in which left me very astonished from Phineas actions and reactions after the railroad incident. When the rod went right through his skull he was not one bit scared; on the contrary, he would talk about his accident with his co-workers or any person he encountered with so much enthusiasm that he sounded like a kid on Christmas morning re-telling his story without getting tired. The thing that I found most interesting was the fact that he did not die the instant he was hit with the rod. Yes, he ended up dying at an early age (36), but living a few years better then not living at all. Phineas was not the same after the incident, but he didn’t allowed anything get in his way. I also found surprising the way the rod went right through his skull. The way the book described the wound was a bit disgusting for me personally. The hole was so deep that the brain was able to be seen if one had a view of the wound. I would not be able to have the same courage as Dr. William had when he cleaned all the blood Phineas was dripping from the wound and clean around the brain so it wouldn’t get infected. It was also a bit disgusting and shocking the fact that the hole could be seen when Phineas would open his mouth.
I would say Phineas was unlucky in some way because even though he survived and was able to live a few years, he wasn’t he same person his family or friends once knew. He was also a survival, but with many side effects; therefore, why live in pain instead of resting in peace? There were so many test he had to go through and that is not a life someone should live with, unless the person was satisfied in not being able to live a normal live as many human beings out there. I would say that I have not encountered a book or movie that can relate to the case of Phineas, but if there was then I would love to read how an accident changed a person completed because we don’t live in a perfect world, and it’s refreshing to learn how people fight the curve ball thrown their way instead of giving up. I would recommend this story to a friend to demonstrate how we shouldn’t give up when a conflict approaches. It’s also good to know the many dangers out there instead of living in oblivion.

Grisel L. said...

The survival of Phineas Gage’s traumatic brain injury was a dreadful accident which turned into advances in brain science. His survival can be miraculous and at the same time perhaps a curse, as he suffered throughout his life: eventually having seizures which caused his death eleven years later. However, Phineas Gage makes a “complete recovery” which leaves an open question to doctors “How could a man have survived such injury?” Furthermore, the personality of Gage had dramatically changed it helped reveal how the injury impacted the “characteristics” part of the brain and how the brain had different control sections. The ideas of how the body works begun to change. What is fascinating is that a slight tilt of the iron bar and Phineas Gage would have been left like a vegetable. He wouldn’t have verbal functions such as speech and language and would have been also been paralyzed as the left cerebral cortex controls movement, as well. I would recommend Phineas Gage to someone who would like to increase their knowledge on how the brain functions because the book is informative.

Diamond M. said...

The Stanford Prison Act

What would happen if you give two “good” people a role to play? One with power and the other, completely powerless? Will they both remain good or one slowly turn bad due to the fact they have to maintain their role? If given the authority but not specific rules, will the power of the role cloud the judgement of an individual or will they remain “good”? After seeing the the abuse of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Dr.Philip Zimbardo decided to create an experiment to examine the effects of roles.

In 1971 Dr. Zimbardo executed his experiment by creating his own “prison” in the basement of the Stanford Psychology Department. He took in 24 male volunteers who accepted his offer to undergo the experiment and got paid $15 for every day they participated. But Dr.Zimbardo didn’t accept just any volunteer, they had to be both psychologically and physically “healthy” to participate in his experiment. At random, half were chosen to have the role of a prison guard and the other half was chosen to have the role of a prisoner. The Social Psychologist, Dr. Zimbardo took his experiment very seriously, he wanted to create the feel of being a prisoner. This included having the “prisoners” get fake arrested at their homes and giving them embarrassing uniforms. The guards were only told that they should not be violent with the prisoners but they must also remain in control. The 24 students were to stay in the “prison” one hundred percent of the time for a total of two weeks.

Even though this experiment was supposed to last for 14 days it only lasted for six. After visiting the “prison” Dr. Zimbardo’s wife, Christina Maslach was horrified and confronted her husband. Dr. Zimbardo agreed with his wife and ended the experiment. The students who were assigned the role of the prison guards grew aggressive and sadistic and those who were assigned to be prisoners either became severely depressed or showed signs of extreme stress.

This proves that if you give a person the idea of power or control their judgment will cloud and will do harsh things. No matter how “good” or psychologically and physically fit a person is, if give them the idea of power and don’t give them rules to follow the outcome isn’t always pretty. And this isn’t just referring to prison guards, this goes for everyone who lives a normal life. For example, an adult has three children and has to run some errands, so she/he leaves the eldest of the three in charge without leaving any specific rules to follow. The eldest will begin to boss the younger two children around and starts making up unfair rules. If one of the younger siblings does not follow the rules he/she is locked in the closet until the eldest sibling is satisfied. Why does the eldest do this? Because he/she believes she has to play the role of an adult, and since there were no specific rule given he/she can do as she pleases. You see, by giving the eldest child the idea that he/she is in charge that is also giving them the idea that they have some form of power. And if you give someone the idea of power, the outcome will be clouded judgment and chaos.

Sources:
http://mentalfloss.com/article/52787/10-famous-psychological-experiments-could-never-happen-today

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZwfNs1pqG0#t=216

http://psychology.about.com/od/classicpsychologystudies/a/stanford-prison-experiment.htm

http://psychology.about.com/od/classicpsychologystudies/a/stanford-prison-experiment.htm

https://explorable.com/stanford-prison-experiment


Diamond M.

Sara M said...

So it was hard for me to stay focused reading Phineas Gages's story, but i made it through. To keep a long story short its about an American railroad construction foreman who had an accident that sent 13 lb. tampering iron flying through the left side of his head causing him to lose his social abilities, and not only was a he left a completely different person, but eleven years later he died due to seizures that resulted from the brain damage. Dr. Hanna Damasio impressed me the most by using the more modern resources to redesign his brain and skull on a 3D computer screen which she used to figure out the route that the iron took and just exactly what parts of his brain were damaged. Not only is it the fact that Gage was alive for years after his accident, but the fact that immediately after his accident he was still conscious and wanting to go back to work the next day.I would recommend this book to a friend if i knew that they had some type of interest in brain science because of the fact that if youre not interested in that, it is a little difficult to sty focused on the root of the story and what the author is referring to exactly throughout the book.

Lezareth G said...

Lezareth G said....

The book “Phineas Gage a Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science” was a real story about a man who got impacted by a rod while at work. The rod when through his jaw and out from the front of his forehead. You can say he was lucky or unlucky but he survived this accident. Many will believe he was lucky just for the simple fact of surviving this accident other my think he was unlucky because even though he survived he wasn’t the same. His accident changed his he suddenly became rude and couldn’t hold on to a job for too long. But Phineas accident made many wonder why he was still alive. I mean how can anyone survive something like this? Right? Many doctor from Phineas time thought the same and they wanted answer. They began to make theories and they believed they knew how the brain worked but had no way to actually prove it. Phineas problems became something new the doctor had never seen it brought many questions but no one seem to know how to answer and if they did they weren’t fully true.
Tis book is a great way to learn how and accident can change someone drastically and they can become someone completely different. The most interesting to me was that there’s cases that are similar to Phineas but weren’t because they got hit by a rod but because it was from surgery. I would recommend this book to a friend because it’s not only an interesting way to learn about the brain and its functions but also to learn about this story. Also so we can see the difference on how the brain was seen before and how we see it today

Efrain P. said...

I enjoy the story “Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science,” because I have background knowledge when I had learned about it in elementary school. My previous science teacher thoroughly gave great detail about Phineas Gage’s horrific accident. Personally, I believe the book gives great detail of how the brain works and how the accident affected Phineas’s brain. Phineas suffered through the terrible accident of when his very own tampering iron was shot through his head, damaging his frontal lobe, causing him to no longer be the same as he was before the accident. When Phineas began to recover, and when the doctor began to notice when Phineas was changing is when I started to become interested in the story.
What I found most interesting from the book was how greatly detailed the book gave background knowledge of the brain to help the reader understand why and how it had affected him. I never understood why damaging his frontal lobe would cause him to become different, but I was interested as the book gave thorough detail of how scientist questioned if it did nothing to him, then what does it do? It raised many more suspicions and gave scientist more of a reason to continue research on the brains frontal lobe. That is what caught my attention, because I wasn’t the only one who questioned the incident. I believe Phineas is LUCKY because he survived the accident, but then Phineas is UNLUCKY because it changed his character.
The style of this book is more of a narrative, telling the story of Phineas, while using primary sources to give more detail on the certain situations. I think the story should have got into more detail on how badly it has changed Phineas, like his goals and his relationships with his close personal friends and family. The story does give detail of how he changed, and how he changing caused him to no longer be eligible for his previous job. Yes I would recommend this book to not only my friends but to anyone because it gives extensive detail on how the brain works and the wonderful, inspirational story of Phineas Gage.

Jacqueline E. said...

Part 1

Phineas Gage by John Fleischman is a powerful and informative book. The style of the book is more into creating a situation rather than writing formal and long sentences. The author made sure that the writing was comprehensible but filled with informative information. As I was reading I found that I was imagining everything that John Fleischman was describing. For example, when the tamping rod went inside Phineas’ head: The author started with “Imagine”. That quickly gives you an understanding that he will focus on making the reader think about what’s going on but as well understand the scene. John Fleischman also used pictures and descriptions about everything that he was introducing during the reading. The story took place around the 18th hundreds. It was based on Phineas Gage, a remarkable person in the science department. This man suffered a horrible accident that changed his life forever. A tamping rod passed through his left cheek bone, through the back of his left eye and into his frontal lobe. This man lived for eleven years more after his so called “full recovery”. Doctors back then didn’t have the technology that we have now and thought they knew everything they needed to know. Phineas Gage carried a long life but he was most certainly not the same person. At the time of his accident no one could really understand what caused Phineas’ difference. It wasn’t until his death that Dr. Harlow along with Paul Broca and The Damasios figured out that Phineas had lived with a triangular hole at the top of his

Jacqueline E.

Jacqueline E. said...

Part 2

skull for eleven years. The rod had taken away some part of the frontal lobe which controlled his social life. Phineas would always have mood swings and was unable to control them until he died for having too many severe seizures. The most interesting thing about the book was learning about this historic man. Phineas Gage is a case to really think about. Being able to work, travel to Chile, and learn to live a life where he was limited to using human ways that are necessary wasn’t an easy task, but overall he did it. Something that surprised me as I read was the way that doctors and surgeons use to operate. Back then the doctors had no clue about what appropriate attire meant. In the book it shows a picture and a description about how back in the day, doctors barely washed their hands and had absolutely no females working with them. In moderate hospitals it is regulation that one who works in the facility must wear the appropriate uniform and is completely normal to see female doctors. Another thing that caught my attention was how our brain is divided into two parts, the Right Hemisphere and the Left Hemisphere. I had no idea that each hemisphere controlled different mental skills. I would say that Phineas Gage was an unlucky man. Even though he became a legend and is very well known for his accident he still suffered a horrible experience. This poor man was not able to live like every other human being. He had terrible moods where he could be the grouchiest of all mankind to the sweetest person ever. How does it make him lucky to die from having continuous seizures? It doesn’t. True, he was able to live a life even if he wasn’t able to socialize with anyone. But that only makes him strong not lucky. There are no books or movies related to Phineas Gage but the patients of The Damasios had tumors in their frontal lobes. Like Phineas, they also acted differently once they had operations where the doctors would take away the tumor. This type of operation is rare and is the last resource for people with tumors in their brain. From a scale of one to ten, I would rate this book a ten in recommendation. This book has not only infatuated me into not wanting to put it down when I began reading, but it has opened my eyes to something new. I feel like it’s an understandable book to read and it loads you with fascinating information. You’ll end up knowing more about how your brain actually works, understanding why you move, think, and do the things you do. But most

Jacqueline E.

Jacqueline E. said...

Part 3

important, what makes a human, human.

Jacqueline E.

Diamond M. said...

The phineas gage book was was one of the most interesting book that i have read. I never imagined reading a tale of a man getting impaled by eight inch long tampering iron and live! Or did he? Some are to think that old Phineas Gage died and a new, Phineas was awoken. People wondered if he was lucky to have survived, I think otherwise. If you as a person cannot be the same person that you were loved for, remembered for and instead become someone else completely; then you truly are unlucky. You are someone different but have the exact face of someone that everyone else knows, but you don’t. You are constantly being compared to someone to whom you don’t even know. That’s what caught my attention. He was mentally a different person, but physically still Phineas Gage.

The style of the story was intriguing. It made it seem as if i was right there, event by event. But the thing i didn’t like about it was that it kept taking a break from Phineas’ story to explain about how doctors dressed and operated, and where bacteria prefers to land. I understand that the medical field wasn’t at it’s best and that bacteria was not yet discovered. I wanted to hear Phineas’ story and how he completely changed. But I guess that wouldn’t work if the facts weren’t given right? So overall i’d say it was a interestingly educational book.

Anonymous said...

The book "Phineas Gage" by John Fleishman was an intriguing science book about the medical miracle that is Phineas Gage. Phineas Gage was a man in 1800s who do to a tragic accident got a tamping iron that is 3'7" long and weighs 13 1/2 pounds straight through his head and survived. I thought the book was interesting and very thought-provoking. I would recommend this book to other people because it showed how one accident can change the course of medical history.

Jazilyn C.