Monday, June 24, 2013

FEVER by Mary H Keane

Who is Mary Mallon?  Mary Mallon was an artist, a kitchen artist devoted to her passion and willing to make sacrifices for it.  In her day, she is remembered, but not as Mary Mallon, the cook, but as Typhoid Mary, the spreader of disease and often death.
Mary is a sympathetic character.  Certainly not a heroine, not even when her condition is thoroughly explained to her, not even when she indicated she understands.  Mary continually puts lives in danger by following her passion and supporting her one live, cooking.  "Baking is not cooking" she explained after she was forbidden to cook for others continued.

Mary was a victim and a villain.  Even after the Department of Health forcibly apprehended her, she refused to believe she was the one making people sick for she stated she'd never been sick in her life.  She could be considered victim because not much was known about Typhoid and how disease was spread at the time; Mary was taken against her will--doctors tested all her blood fluids weekly but yet nothing was explained to her concerning the results of these tests.  She was quarantined on an island away from people.  Mary could be considered a villain for after she was released from isolation with the stipulation of no cooking, she baked in a bakery and cooked for a hospital and many patients become ill.  This is an interesting read--part fiction part history.

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