Who is the hero in this story? Explain why you think so.
I think Claude is the hero of the story. Michelle talks about how she first was diagnosed with cancer, which was only eight weeks ago. Claude has been in and out of the hospital for eight years with leukemia. She thinks that eights weeks ago has been a long and tortuous journey in her life while Claude lives with his disease for now eight years of his life. She asks him if he ever wanted him to die rather than live and he answers with sometimes. She thinks that her friends have given up hope for her, but he tells her “to be strong, and don’t waste yourself fighting for the wrong things.”
What is the turning point? In what way does Michelle change?
She changes her attitude from the beginning of the story from depressed to happy and joyful. First Claude talks to her about staying strong and that she needs to do that to keep her hope alive. Then he says “Don’t waste your life fighting the wrong things”, which could mean fight the challenges in life that do matter. She begins to realize that they still is hope even if her boyfriend Rob was running later than usual to come and see her. When Rob finally comes to see her she feels angry that he is late. But as soon as they get to talking he makes her laugh and smile, she feels more of herself when Rob is with her.
What is the overall message and mood?
The overall message of the story is kind of dark and depressing. In the beginning Michelle thinks that Rob will not come to visit her. She gets worried and anxious. Later while talking to Claude she asks the question if he would rather die then having another needle put into him. She sounds like she would rather die than be alive. Claude answers with sometimes. Later she goes back to her room and Rob is still not coming to see her, and she gets even more sad. But later when Rob finally comes to visit her she is still feeling sad because he went to the dance with Vanessa. The only time she does not feel sad is when Rob makes her laugh in the ending of the story.
Why is humor an important part of this story?
Humor can help ease an awkward situation. Michelle is not feeling well and is losing hope in her herself and when she sees that Rob has not come to visit her, they start to talk and they laugh a bit. While they laugh together Michelle forgets that she is sick and is trying to go back to her “old” life. Back to the way it use to be, before she got cancer, when she had all her friends and life was normal to her.
Why do you think Alison Lohans calls her story “The Michelle I Know?”
While Michelle has cancer she reminisces back to her past, when life was normal to her. Her having friends and people talking to her. Now she lays in her hospital bed only waiting for visits from Claude or Rob her boyfriend and other nurses and doctors. When Rob visits her they talk and they laugh reminding them about the past. When Rob says “Now that’s the Michelle I know” it means that she does not smile or act happier now that she is sick. He says that because it reminds them both that she is trying to go back to her normal way of life.