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The tale The Mind's Eye by Oliver Sacks contains several instances of paradox. It is proposed that this is not coincidental, but rather for the intention of demonstrating a certain point of view about the interactions that people which go through that result in changes in their views of the world and their ability to adjust to their lifestyles and relate to other people. Certain senses are considered significant factors in fostering a person's willingness to seek a profession successfully in other types of professions. If that sense is not available or impaired, it is likely that such a person is less likely to achieve success in pursuing a career in a field of preference. In the story _x0091_The Mind_x0092_s Eye_x0092_, there are many characters that had challenges in using their senses such as sight or language while these abilities were important in achieving their occupational objectives. Irrespective of these characteristics, however, they managed to pursue their careers and achieve success. This paper presents a paradox in the physical characteristics of the main characters in the book by examining the challenges associated with their senses, as well as their ability to excel in areas of occupation where such senses were required for the to achieve their ambitions and career objectives in different specializations.
The book presents the case of Oliver Sacks himself who had visual migraines when he was young. This is illustrated by Sacks_x0092_ own personal statement, _x0091_I would often lose sight to one side, and sometimes one can lose the idea of one side in a migraine, which can be a very, very strange thing_x0092_ (p.328). With migraine, it would be expected that Sacks could not attend educational institutions and excel in any area of specialization. In reality, he was terrified of his inability to recognize people. However, through personal determination and motivation from his mother he was able to use other senses in an appropriate manner to undergo studies in neurology until he became a professor at Albert Einstein_x0092_s College of Medicine. In addition to qualification in medicine, he wrote a number of books for the purpose of motivating others that the ability of a person to adapt to challenges can be a major factor which can contribute to one_x0092_s success in any field of interest. The book also presents John Hull as a person who had cataract at the age of thirteen which rendered him blind for twenty two years until he was thirty five years. During this time, he could not recognize his family members well and had to use a pair of magnifying glass to see effectively. This is illustrated by the quote, _x0093_At first, Hull was greatly distressed by this: he could no longer conjure up the faces of his wife or children, or familiar and loved landscapes of places (p. 329)_x0094_. This shows the level of disability that cataract caused on Hull, which was likely to affect his ability to read in the future. It would be expected that since Hull was already visually impaired, he could not pursue a career that required visual capability such as being a scholar or a writer of books. However, this is not the case since he was able to overcome this disability and wrote a number of books and also achieved a higher educational qualification such as becoming a professor. He managed to publish an essay while he was blind, a situation that puzzled many blind people. This can be attributed to his inner vision of achieving particular outcomes in his career irrespective of his visual impairment. He achieved this because he developed a remarkable power of developing accurate visual perceptions of images in his mind which enabled him to create a virtual understanding of his environment. For instance, he wrote the manuscript for _x0091_out of Darkness_x0092_ which presented events of the World War II despite the fact that the events occurred when he was blind.
The story presents the case of Dennis Shulman who was a clinical psychologist and a psychoanalysis that majored in tutoring biblical topics. In a similar manner to Sacks, Shulman lost his sight when he was a teen and was not likely to succeed in education where visual competence is a major requirement. This is not the case because he was able to use other senses effectively to become a health professional. He makes effective use of his senses to relate with his children and wife despite the fact that he has never seen them physically. This is illustrated by the quote, _x0093_I still live in s visual world after thirty five years if blindness. My wife whom I have never seen-I think of her visually_x0092_ (p.336). It is paradoxical that Shulman was able to write books in Braille that were used by blind people in their studies to achieve qualifications in different areas of health practice in spite of being blind. It is also illustrated that Shulman was able to overcome his blindness to participate in lecture activities and provide psychological motivations to students with different physical impairments. The story also presents the case of Arlene Gordon, a woman who was blind but participates in social work activities and also performed her personal tasks such as selecting clothes according to her color of preference. According to the account by Gordon, she has been able to overcome the challenge of being blind to understand her environment effectively such as by listening to talking books. She says, _x0093_Listening to talking books, she added, made her eyes ache if she listened too long_x0094_ (p. 336). In the cases of Gordon and Shulman, the use of visual imagery were the main contributing factors to their ability to understand the environments without the need to use their eye sights or depend on verbal expressions. This is paradoxical because of her ability to overcome blindness and use other senses effectively to achieve her personal needs and become happy.
There are other characters in the story _x0091_The Mind_x0092_s Eye_x0092_ that have paradoxically succeeded in the fields where visual senses are required despite not having them. This is illustrated in the case of Susan R. Barry-a neurobiologist who lived without stereoscopic vision for 48 years. In neurobiology, it would be expected that one must have well-functioning eyes in order to undergo educational procedure which equips one with knowledge and skills. In the case of Sue, she was able to overcome her visual impairment by making use of stereovision which alters the way she sees the world. This resulted into her ability to achieve anything she desired irrespective of her visual impairment. Similarly, the story presents the case of Lilian Kiir who was a talented musician after suffering posterior cortical atrophy. In musical career, visual capability is a major requirement because one has to see the musical instruments being played as well as read musical notes and books. However, Lilian Kirr had musical alexia-inability to read music. This resulted into a situation where she experienced challenges in pressing visual stimuli which are necessary in music. However, she overcame these challenges by performing mainly from memory. This case illustrates that irrespective of having visual impairment, one has the ability to use other senses well in order to achieve success in any field of professional practice. In a similar manner to Lilian, the book presents the case of Patricia H. who had stroke that left her without the ability to use language but she was able to communicate using senses.
In conclusion, the book _x0091_The Mind_x0092_s Eye_x0092_ presents paradoxical cases where people experience visual impairments in their childhoods but still succeeding in professional fields of practice which require one to possess the ability to see. It is paradoxical that these people are able to acquire high qualification and competence to the extent that they become medical professionals, professors, and authors who also contribute to motivation of other people who do not have any form of impairment. They are able to write books that are read by people who have visual competence but do not have the skills and knowledge of writing. This is due to their ability to utilize their senses effectively and also improve their brain_x0092_s processing capability. The case studies in the books presents a motivation to any person with visual impairment that there is no limit on the professional capability of a person who has lost sight provided one is determined and willing to use other senses effectively.
Sacks, Oliver. The mind's eye. Vintage, 2010.
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