The Untrodden Ways: The Story of Lucy Written by Hannah Mussett

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Exceptional IndividualDanica DiGiacomo

Dr. Shapiro4/10/03

The Untrodden Ways: The Story of Lucy

The Untrodden Ways: The Story of Lucy was written by Hannah Mussett in 1975 and takes place in England's countryside. The book was written for the sole purpose of educating people on how Mussett and other parents feel when raising a child like Lucy in the mid-seventies. Lucy was born with Down Syndrome but in the book they refer to her as a Mongol. A Mongol was a common word to describe people with Down Syndrome a few decades ago. Down Syndrome is a chromosome abnormality caused usually by an extra 21st chromosome. Children with Down Syndrome have a distinct characteristic appearance. The shape of the head is usually smaller, the nose is flattened, tongue protruded, and eyes slanted upward. A person with Down Syndrome usually does not reach average adult height, and also has stubby hands and fingers.

Mussett begins the book by talking about her family before she became pregnant with Lucy. She speaks about how happy and playful her three year old healthy daughter, Julia, is. Early in the novel Mussett becomes impregnated and begins worrying early on about the outcome of the baby's birth. This anxiety was brought on by an article she read in the newspaper discussing a mother of a deformed infant with a condition called Thalidomide. The article went on to state that the mother murdered her new-born out of mercy. The article made Mussett anxious and worried for the welfare of her own child. "No mother pregnant at that time could have read the newspaper reports of this and other deformed babies without becoming anxious about their own" (Mussett, 13). Unfortunately she says she bore a child with a disability and immediately wanted to discard it, kill it, end...