Portrayals of Disabled Characters

Use this forum to discuss the April 2019 Book of the month, "Adrift" by Charlie Sheldon
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Re: Portrayals of Disabled Characters

Post by ccundall2130 » 16 May 2019, 13:58

Your comments about the disabled characters has me intrigued! I haven't read much of the book because I'm still working on the first in the series. However, I have worked with disabled students and always find these stories more interesting and find them speaking to me on a more personal level. Thank you!
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Post by Onyinye Excel » 17 May 2019, 13:20

I've heard it said "There's an ability in every disability." Most of the characters in the story proved this.

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Post by Ak1412 » 18 May 2019, 20:48

I think it is encouraging to see characters who don't have it easy succeed professionally

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Post by OliviaLouise » 19 May 2019, 15:36

I think that representation is so important, and admire the author for achieving it so effortlessly. I see a lot of people in this thread mentioning that the characters rise above their situation and don’t engage in self-pity. I’m curious how that changes your feelings about the representation: if the characters ultimately did not rise to the occasion, or spent a large part of the book feeling sorry for themselves, would it be the same?

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Post by iced_sunshine » 27 May 2019, 11:14

Personally, I feel very proud when characters with disabilities are portrayed doing normal things like having a job, raising their kids, going out with friends. It's a harmful stereotype to have people with disabilities portrayed as sickly and incapable of doing ordinary things. Granted, some are bed-ridden but I think it's important to show the other side of the story.
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Post by godreaujea » 29 May 2019, 07:21

I’m glad you pointed this out. I love how these characters showed grit and were able to rise above their circumstances by refusing to give up or wallow in pity. It is refreshing to see disabled characters in a book at all, but especially disabled characters with so much agency.

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Post by Wyland » 02 Jun 2019, 05:30

It did resonate with me as well because of the diversity and inclusivity that was portrayed by the characterization. It shows the author as a forward thinking individual who doesn't discriminate on subjective grounds.

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Post by Scarlet Nicoll » 06 Jun 2019, 07:34

To me, it gave away a happy-ever-after effect. That every dark cloud has a silver line.

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Post by Debottam_55 » 06 Jun 2019, 15:59

The portrayal of characters who are in the minority is very hard especially in modern times with a volatile crowd waiting to swallow up any author or artist. It is nice to see that this book can represent a section so thoughtfully. This is a part of society who are constantly undermined and degraded. It is very important that they are a part of modern works of literature.
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Post by a9436 » 09 Jun 2019, 11:10

I liked the portrayal of the disabled characters - they came across as strong and it is good for readers with disabilities to see this, especially younger readers.

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Post by Joe Hadithi » 10 Jun 2019, 17:40

Pete's was a good example of staying true. I really admired how he kept going, in spite of everything.

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Post by DC Brown » Yesterday, 07:31

editoronwheels wrote:
14 Apr 2019, 18:54
Adrift includes several characters who are disabled, either through natural circumstance, because of accidents or by reason of advanced age. I love how all of them, Heather, the diabetic steward from the Seattle Express Pete Wise, Tom, and Steve's son Jimmie, take opportunities to rise above their situations.

Jimmie gets to move out of a long-term care facility and live with Steve.

Heather undertakes the daunting task of hunting seal to feed her group of marooned survivors from the Seattle Express.

Pete is hired as a park ranger, a job that allows him to keep custody of his young son. It starts out as a desk job, so his knee can heal from a gunshot wound.

Despite a pronounced limp, elderly Tom Olsen braves rugged Pacific Northwest terrain to save William. his best friend.

These characters really resonated with me. I wondered if they resonated with anybody else. If so, why?
I loved that these characters got to deal with their adversities in a positive way. I'm glad the author wrote them this way as it's nice for those of us who are disabled to get recognized for what we do in spite of it.

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Post by DC Brown » Yesterday, 07:31

editoronwheels wrote:
14 Apr 2019, 18:54
Adrift includes several characters who are disabled, either through natural circumstance, because of accidents or by reason of advanced age. I love how all of them, Heather, the diabetic steward from the Seattle Express Pete Wise, Tom, and Steve's son Jimmie, take opportunities to rise above their situations.

Jimmie gets to move out of a long-term care facility and live with Steve.

Heather undertakes the daunting task of hunting seal to feed her group of marooned survivors from the Seattle Express.

Pete is hired as a park ranger, a job that allows him to keep custody of his young son. It starts out as a desk job, so his knee can heal from a gunshot wound.

Despite a pronounced limp, elderly Tom Olsen braves rugged Pacific Northwest terrain to save William. his best friend.

These characters really resonated with me. I wondered if they resonated with anybody else. If so, why?
I loved that these characters got to deal with their adversities in a positive way. I'm glad the author wrote them this way as it's nice for those of us who are disabled to get recognized for what we do in spite of it.

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Post by DC Brown » Yesterday, 07:32

a9436 wrote:
09 Jun 2019, 11:10
I liked the portrayal of the disabled characters - they came across as strong and it is good for readers with disabilities to see this, especially younger readers.
I agree. Many times people with disabilities become invisible. It's great that the author gave us such positive images.

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Post by SamSim » Today, 12:29

I have not had the opportunity to read Adrift yet, but the description of the differently abled characters and the challenges they overcame really piques my interest as someone with Cerebral Palsy. I'm sure these characters would resonate with me and with anyone, really. As my mom always says, "We all have handicaps; They just aren't always physical or obvious."
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