The main themes in When Breath Becomes Air are life and death, responsibility, and writing and literature. Life and death: The memoir is a meditation on the mystery of life and death, and Kalanithi provides insight into this mystery as both a doctor and a patient.
Is When Breath Becomes Air worth reading?
Paul Kalanithi’s memoir, “When Breath Becomes Air,” written as he faced a terminal cancer diagnosis, is inherently sad. But it’s an emotional investment well worth making: a moving and thoughtful memoir of family, medicine and literature. It is, despite its grim undertone, accidentally inspiring.
When Breath Becomes Air plot summary?
When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally …
Why did Paul write When Breath Becomes Air?
He wrote that essay in the New York Times, “How Long Have I Got Left?” He wrote it on a flight and he wanted a way to work through the challenge of facing uncertainty. Even when you have a terminal illness, you’re still also coping with uncertainty about when and how, and what the future holds.
Who is the antagonist in When Breath Becomes Air?
The antagonist is the cancer that Paul is diagnosed with (stage 4 lung cancer). Although it is a disasterous disease, it caused him to reflect about himself as well as the struggle patients actually endure.
Is When Breath Becomes Air a true story?
When Breath Becomes Air is a non-fiction autobiographical book written by American neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi. It is a memoir about his life and illness, battling stage IV metastatic lung cancer.
Did Kalanithi’s wife remarry?
They both still wear their wedding rings, and while they both had their spouses’ blessings to remarry, actually doing so is a bit daunting. “I planned to spend my entire life with Nina. I was 100 percent happy doing that,” Duberstein told the Washington Post.
What is the climax of When Breath Becomes Air?
The climax of the story is when Paul finally decides to get an MRI, when the results come back he is greeted with scans of stage IV lung cancer. By looking at the scans Paul could tell there was really nothing any doctor could do to help him. Throughout Paul’s last months his wife stayed by him all the way.
Where is Lucy kalanithi now?
Dr. Kalanithi lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her daughter, Cady, a first-grader. She uses her dual United States-United Kingdom citizenship to justify her love of scotch eggs.
What happened to Paul kalanithi’s wife?
Stanford physician Lucy Kalanithi opens up about loss, grief and love for her neurosurgeon husband, Paul, five years after his death from lung cancer.
When was kalanithi diagnosed?
In May 2013, Kalanithi was diagnosed with metastatic stage IV non-small-cell EGFR-positive lung cancer. He died, aged 37, in March 2015.
What were Paul kalanithi’s first symptoms?
He was close to finishing seven years of training as a neurosurgeon, when he started having some alarming symptoms in May of 2013, starting with back pain, coughing fits and weight loss. “More rapid weight loss, plus night sweats, plus chest pain,” he said.
Is Paul kalanithi Indian?
US-based Indian-American Paul Kalanithi was 15 months away from completing his training as a neurosurgeon at age 36 when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.
What message does kalanithi have for her at the end of his memoir?
Kalanithi’s message was one of hope and love, even in the shadows of death. She emphasized a line from the memoir: “The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live.” Lucy and Paul met in 2003 as first-year medical students at Yale University.
When you take up another’s cross you must be willing to sometimes get crushed by its weight?
Those burdens are what make medicine holy and wholly impossible: in taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight.” – Paul Kalanithi, Part I. 32.
What sparked kalanithi’s initial interest in the brain?
Later, Kalanithi’s high school girlfriend handed him a fantasy novel, Satan: His Psychotherapy and Cure by the Unfortunate Dr. Kassler, J.S.P.S., that sparked his interest in biology and neuroscience.
What is the life of a neurosurgeon like?
Neurosurgeons work long, sometimes arduous hours. They frequently perform multiple operations in a single day. Some are straightforward and don’t take very long. Others, like brain surgeries, are complex and last for hours.