In season 1, Lucas Scott is a teenager, a new high school student, brought up by his single mother, Karen, and his uncle Keith. His biological father, Dan Scott, rejects his existence and cares more about his step-brother, Nathan. Lucas feels invisible and unwanted, but his uncle Keith, even though isn’t his biological father, serves as the father figure, taking care of Lucas and encouraging him to face his fears.
When Lucas is ridiculed by others, especially Nathan, he becomes frustrated and upset, but his Uncle Keith provides him courage, encouraging him to try out for the basketball team, protecting him when he’s threatened, and forgiving him after getting into a drunk-driving accident together. In season 7, we see family differently, with a mother, father, and son relationship. Haley James Scott, Nathan Scott, and their son James Lucas Scott, never give up on one another, picking up one another during hard times.
For example, Nathan undergoes a scandal that could ruin his basketball career, but Hayley and Jamie stand by him and trusts him, despite all the proof showcasing that Nathan was unfaithful. Hayley and Jamie were the joke of the town, but they faced the adversity with courage and didn’t let the scandal break their family. Moreover, when Hayley was suffering from her mother’s death, she undergoes depression and tries to kill herself, but Nathan was there for her, reminding her how much he and Jamie loved her, and how despite anything that was going on, he will always be with her, being patient, kind, and empathizing with her pain.
In addition, in season 9, we witness the relationship of Quinn, Clay, and their adopted son, Logan. After the death of Clay’s first-wife Sarah, Clay undergoes a disorder where he forgets about his son. When Clay discovers he has a son, Logan is already 6-years old. At first, Logan was scared, but he soon forgives him and loves him unconditionally, being with him no matter the health issues he experiences. Furthermore, Quinn also becomes a part of the family, adopting Logan with Clay, showing you don’t have to be blood to be family.
In our course readings, we are provided with the definition of family from the prototype of a typical family, composing of a man, woman, and child. Also, many of the texts are looking at it from a religious perspective of how family fits into God’s plan for humanity. However, this media set provides a secular variation of family relationships, showcasing what a family does for you and how it becomes a part of you. It adds a unique perspective to family and one’s own identity.
In Still Alice, it follows a 50-year old woman, an Ivy League linguistic professor, who was always known for her intellect and compassion, until her world falls apart after learning about her diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Genova emphasizes the severity of Alzheimer’s and the urgentness for a cure. She gives a face to Alzheimer’s, allowing everyone to see past the disease and understand that it does not define a person. Because of this, readers empathize with Alice and feel encouraged to take steps towards finding a cure and raising awareness so that society can help as many people diagnosed as possible.
Moreover, in Left Neglect, Sarah, a young mother of three children in elementary school, suffers from Left Neglect, a disease that paralyze the entire left side of the body. When her husband finds out that she has been in an accident, it is hard to accept that a very bright woman can no longer do something as simple as pick up her phone with her left hand. By rebuilding her relationship with her mother and having the support of her community and doctors, Sarah is eventually able to learn how to use the left side of her body.
If those that suffer from disease like Left Neglect don’t receive the help they need, they will never be able to get healthier. Therefore, a small act of kindness, whether it a few motivating words or a small donation can serve as one step forward of change in the lives of those suffering. Lastly, in Love Anthony, it explains the short life of Anthony, a nonverbal boy with autism, and the two women most deeply affected by his illness, his mother, Olivia, and the woman who came to write his story, Beth.
The book travels not only into the mind of both women, but also the voiceless mind of Anthony, who explains why he does not speak, his affinity for the number three, and his love for his mother more than anything despite not knowing how to show it. The novel connects the reader with every aspect of both living with and without a child with autism, and being a child with autism in a world that cannot possibly understand your mind.
Genova pulls the victim out of his illness and shows him as they truly are: a human being. Readers are encouraged to make a difference in the lives of others, as the reader truly enters the mind of an autistic boy, and what it is like to try, fail, and eventually succeed to understand. Genova emphasizes the humans behind the disease and opens your eyes to what an impact you can make for others, as everyday there are others just like you who are suffering and could use your help.
In our course readings, it seeks to investigate what really matters and what we should be willing to do for others, however, these novels provide a secular variation, as it is not from a non-religious standpoint, but through the eyes of those suffering from a disease and are calling for help. Rookie blue follows the lives of police officers and their service and sacrifice in the streets of Toronto. Police officers suffer in their job everyday, leaving their family and putting their life in danger, to ensure that others will be safe.
In season 2, the police officer, Andy McNally, saves a young girl from being shot and eventually saves the rest of the children, by taking the bullet for them. She puts her life in danger, in hope of saving the little girl, as she values every human life and believes it’s important to put others before yourself, to spread justice and love in the community. Furthermore in season 3, detective, Jerry Barber, gets stabbed by the cab driver who abducted his colleague, Gail Peck. While, he was stabbed he placed his cell phone in the pocket of the cab driver, so the other police officers could track Gail with the GPS.
Jerry Barber’s family, friends, and members of his community lost an asset to humanity. However, his life is not meaningless, as he was serving his life for others. Even though it cost him his life, Jerry was able to save another life, as it is better to die knowing your life meant something. Similarly, in season 4, Sam Swarek, risked his life for his colleague, Nick Collins, saving him from getting killed by a mass murderer. Sam lost his abilities to return to the workforce for a period of time, however, eventually he was able to recover.
Henceforth, if he never took the bold decision to suffer and sacrifice, many innocent lives would have been lost. In our course readings, there is a lot of discussion over selfsacrifice, but they are from a religious standpoint. There is overlap in the discussion, however, we are able to gain a different perspective on self-sacrifice for, as this television show looks at suffering and sacrificing from the eyes of those that are dedicating their lives to serve and protect. We are being enlightened, gaining a better understanding of these topics.