Take Up Thy Bed and Walk: Death, Disability and Cure in Classic Fiction for Girls by Lois KeithLois Keiths Take up Thy Bed and Walk is yet another of these often really infuriating my way or the highway types of literary criticism and analysis, and while SOME of the authors assertions and conjectures do indeed make much and even common sense, Lois Keith obviously seems to have a massive and rather all encompassing angry personal chip on her shoulder with regard to death, disability and cure in childrens literature (and especially in so-called girls fiction). Now I do realise that Lois Keith as an author who is, in fact, physically challenged and uses a wheelchair, might well see disability themes in literature for children somewhat differently and more critically than I for example would. But be that as it may, and even though especially the first part of her analysis (on classic fiction for girls) is generally and mostly astutely observant, I am still left with a feeling that with Take up Thy Bed and Walk Lois Keith often does not read in any way below the surface, between the lines, for some of the featured classical girls novels she has chosen to analyse (especially regarding the so-called miracle cures), and that for her second part, concerning death, disability and cure in more recent fiction for girls, she has seemingly deliberately and conveniently, and dare I claim a bit lazily focused on primarily those authors and their work that bolster and support her interpretations and attitudes (understandable perhaps, but annoying and woefully unacademic nevertheless). And thus, only two stars and recommended only with major reservations and with the caveat of needing to peruse Take up Thy Bed and Walk with a healthy dose of critical skepticism.
Now I do not want this review to contain too many spoilers, but in light of my rather negative star rating (although I have, in fact, enjoyed many of Lois Keiths views and commentaries), I should at least demonstrate some of my main issues with Take up Thy Bed and Walk, such as how in the section on the so-called miracle cures in classic novels for girls, the author focusses a bit too heavily on two main novels, on Johanna Spyris 1881 novel Heidi and on Frances Hodgson-Burnetts 1911 novel The Secret Garden.
For while Lois Keith does indeed make a point when she claims that Claras alpine cure in Heidi is rather miraculous and seemingly magical, she really only manages to skim the mere surface of the novel with this interpretation. For if one reads Heidi closely and delves between the lines, Clara is perhaps physically challenged, but is in many ways spiritually and psychologically much more resilient than Heidi (who will wither and destroy herself if she is in any place other than her grandfathers alpine meadows, as is rather stridently demonstrated with and by her sojourn in Frankfurt). And even whilst and naturally both Claras grandmother and her father consider Claras cure a miracle, Heidis in all ways down-to-earth grandfather actually considers Claras increasing health and the fact that she can now walk again more of a natural remedy, precipitated by Claras own desires, her actively wanting to get well, and the bracing alpine air and sunshine (as well as the nourishing foods Clara has been consuming whilst visiting Heidi on the Alp). Now I am NOT in any manner claiming that Clara being able to cast her wheelchair aside (well, actually, it was pushed down the hill by jealous Peter) might not be considered a miracle type of cure of sorts, but there is so much more than this present and visible in Johanna Spyris clasic and that Lois Keith has simply focussed on just the supposed miracle aspects of Claras cure is and continues to be rather personally chafing and very much annoying and depressing (as really, this only very partially and thus most incompletely understands Heidi as a story, as a novel).
And with Colins supposed miraculous regeneration in The Secret Garden, well, I am sorry, but I absolutely and totally do in NO WAY consider the latter any kind of a miracle, period (even if and even when Colin, Mary and Dickon do consider it magical). Because the storyline, the plot of The Secret Garden very clearly and in my opinion obviously always demonstrates that Colin has NEVER actually been physically disabled. He was born prematurely and weak (due to his mothers fatal accident), and because everyone, including his doctor, then assumed that he would be an invalid and have a hunchback like Archibald Craven, like his father, he was coddled, but also often spiritually neglected to the point that he had become a hysterical psychosomatic pseudo-invalid (but Colins legs are actually not withered and crooked, his back is straight and as soon as he is willing to be outside with Mary and Dickon, his health naturally and in no way miraculously improves). Lois Keith considering Colins return to health a miracle cure really totally and utterly (in my opinion) misinterprets The Secret Garden in every way, as Colin was never actually physically challenged to begin with, and ALL his maladies are thus completely psychological, generally psychosomatic.
And the second section of Take up Thy Bed and Walk actually in many ways feels much much more annoying to and for me than the first part, as aside from a tone of authorial writing expression that almost feels vicious and accusing at times, Lois Keith has also rather ignored many novels and authors that do not mesh with her attitude that even today, that even in recent fiction for girls, there supposedly is still mostly a stigma with regard to disability and curing disability is still a main objective. And again, while I consider some of the authors interpretations both acceptable and even agreeable, I fail to see why Izzy in Cynthia Voigts Izzy Willy Nilly should simply and seemingly happily and with natural acceptance EMBRACE her new medical condition (her having lost a leg in an automobile accident) and not be sad, frustrated and even unfortunately often consider herself as a cripple (for while this latter designation does of course bother me, it is the unfortunate truth that erstwhile active cheerleader Izzy would naturally be devastated and consider herself as lesser, as she has to learn to accept the fact that she will for the rest of her life be a person with just one leg). Similarly, with Judy Blumes Deenie, why is the fact that the protagonist has scoliosis and thus a condition that can usually be cured such an issue for Lois Keith? It is not as though life is shown as being a bed of roses for Deenie, but the fact that there is hope in sight, that the brace will probably cure Deenies curvature of the spine is in my humble opinion both realistic and also a sweet assurance to other teenagers with scoliosis that their struggles with the latter are not or at least do not have to be permanent.
Now I guess this hope and desire for a cure from infirmity is perhaps personally so anathema to Lois Keith, because her own physical challenges are indeed permanent and will not simply and cannot simply be removed, be changed (and thus is at least somewhat understandable). However, it does still massively bother me how much she tends to project and it is just blatantly WRONG for Keith to categorically insist that most modern, that most recent literature for girls focusses mainly on disability as a constant and consistent negative, as something to be overcome. Yes, with the books the author has so carefully chosen, this indeed does seem to mostly be the case, but there are many many more recent childrens authors who not only write about disability, but who also often show that disability can be permanent and an almost natural, even at times essential part of a characters self, of his or her personality (authors like Guelph Ontarios childrens author Jean Little, for example, whose characters often and even usually have both physical and emotional challenges that are permanent and mostly unchanging, but I guess her oeuvre does not quite fit and mesh with Lois Keiths thematics, conjectures and rather negative attitudes regarding disability in modern girls fiction and is thus rather conveniently just ignored but of course, I should also consider that a UK author like Lois Keith might just not be aware of Jean Little, but since she seems to be aware of those authors who fit her analysis, I do think she has at best kind of ignored inconvenient for her interpretation authors and not done enough research). And while I definitely more than understand and appreciate that Ms. Keith has included her own and yes, excellent, novel A Different Life (about a teenager permanently confined to a wheelchair after a mysterious illness), I do wonder, considering how in many ways similar this novel is to Jean Littles oeuvre, why the latter has not been included, has not been analysed and interpreted. And no, I actually do not in any way despise Take up Thy Bed and Walk (there is in fact, as I hope to have pointed out, much of interest featured in the latter). I just think that the author, that Lois Keith is more than a bit one-sided and too on the surface in and with many of her interpretations and analyses and also portrays too much of a personal and at times even vindictive type of negatively nasty bias.
Living Stream Ministry
The Lord Jesus Reigns Ad — infintum , so allow him to do so in your life, in your miracles, and in your testimony! Rise for your Miracle today! It was to a man, impotent, sick, diseased, who lay on his bed by the pool of Siloam. Yet for 38 years he sat as the water became stirred and was unable to get to the water in time for his miracle. You can read about this in John chapter five. People passed him daily, throwing him a bit of money, bread, or some other handout as he sat in his misery.
Matthew But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, then saith he to the sick of the palsy, Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. Mark I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. Luke But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, he said unto the sick of the palsy, I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. Pick up your mat and walk. Christian Standard Bible "Get up," Jesus told him, "pick up your mat and walk.
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Origins: Experience, Dedication, and Anointing
Like many others, the impotent man had been waiting for a wonder to be wrought, and a sign to be given. Wearily did he watch the pool, but no angel came, or came not for him; yet, thinking it to be his only chance, he waited still, and knew not that there was One near him whose word could heal him in a moment. Many are in the same plight: they are waiting for some singular emotion, remarkable impression, or celestial vision; they wait in vain and watch for nought. Even supposing that, in a few cases, remarkable signs are seen, yet these are rare, and no man has a right to look for them in his own case; no man especially who feels his impotency to avail himself of the moving of the water even if it came. It is a very sad reflection that tens of thousands are now waiting in the use of means, and ordinances, and vows, and resolutions, and have so waited time out of mind, in vain, utterly in vain. Meanwhile these poor souls forget the present Saviour, who bids them look unto him and be saved. He could heal them at once, but they prefer to wait for an angel and a wonder.
Reflect on Scripture and learn a Hebrew word each day for the next two-weeks with this free devotional, Holy Land Moments! Public Domain. You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more. Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
But listen, suddenly a man came—not a big man, but the little Jesus. Nobody paid any attention to Him. He had no form, no comeliness; He was one who came from Galilee, from that little town of Nazareth. Jesus came and saw the impotent man lying there. This is marvelous!