Our Very Own Madonna

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby describes what his life is like after suffering a massive stroke and leaving him with “locked-in-syndrome.” Most of the novel is an account of his physical experience of day to day life with his condition. However one of the chapters is distinctly different and stands out from the others’ “Our Very Own Madonna,” instead of describing something in the present involving his situation it is a story of the best of a failed trip to Lourdes with what would be his soon ex girlfriend in tremendous detail.

Which upon reading leads one to wonder why such a story is included in this memoir. It is a chapter wrapped in irony in the form of regret, realization, and a moral. Possible the greatest amount of irony that is felt from this chapter is Bauby’s regret that he hadn’t lived in the now. Most of the trip he had spent reading a novel Trail of the Snake by Charles Sobraj, he was entranced by it not even leaving the car when his girlfriend who stop at various observation points to admire the scenery throughout the journey.

Whenever the chance presented itself he would return to his book, or at least would think of it.

In many ways Bauby was looking to escape his current situation by going into his imagination through his book. Giving Bauby current state he may have regret for the way the trip had transpired or at least a desire to have done it differently.

Get quality help now

Proficient in: Psychology

4.7 (657)

“ Really polite, and a great writer! Task done as described and better, responded to all my questions promptly too! ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Now that he has all this time to reflect on his memories of his past life he is able to give a more authentic account now than likely his past self would of just post trip, that is stay that his memory is more authentic than his actually experience of his own vacation. Which brings Bauby to a realization that he might be happier now in his near complete paralyzed state, than he has been in his previous life. Now he is able to live in his an imagination unbounded from reality. He is able to transcend his physical state and able to have experiments that not even with full mobility would be possible.

Lourdes was a tourist trap design to rope chumps along, now Bauby is free to make his reality whatever he sees fit. Not only does he get to escape reality like he had attempted to with his book and his mind, his mind is his reality and it is boundless. With that a kind of moral is evoked. Bauby wanted to live, even though to many it brings about a knee-jerk response of such a state is unlivable. He was still able to find joy and value in his existence, in many ways he lived in a state of self actualization while for many is a state that is just hope to be glimpsed throughout life. Raises the question of whether living is really about the body or is it more significant. What what point is life is not worth living that be one’s own life or that of others. How could such questions be answered till oneself is faced with such a situation. Which Bauby’s story is an attempt to confront such realizations and to bring about a consideration of how to react to people with debilitating illnesses. Is there a responsibility to support them either in their will to live or their desire to die.

Cite this page

Our Very Own Madonna. (2022, Feb 07). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/our-very-own-madonna/

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7