Friday, February 1, 2019

Phinneas Gage By John Fleischman

This is required seventh-grade reading in our area. In 1848 Phinneas was a construction foreman building a railroad in Vermont, his specialty was explosives. At that time you bore a hole in the rock and poured in gun powder. Using a tamping rod you packed the powder and the fuse into the hole. Then sand was put in so the blast would be forced down into the rock.

On one such job, Phineas' tamping rod slipped into the hole prior to the sand, causing a spark, igniting the gunpowder, and shooting out the tamping rod. The rod passed through Phinneas's cheek, temporal lobe, and skull, completely exiting his head.

Phinneas lived. In fact, immediately after the accident he could talk and walk. His crew insisted on taking him to town to see the doctor. For the thirty minutes, it took to find the doctor he sat in a chair on the porch of the hotel he lived in. He conversed freely with the people around him.

Following this gruesome beginning, the story explores the history of brain science and how it was possible that Phinneas lived a functional life, showing only a few personality changes. He died eleven years after the accident.

My drawing.

No comments:

Post a Comment