The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Chapter 36 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Still swollen with hives, Deborah goes home to a doctor, while Rebecca visits Gary again. Gary has her read a passage in the Bible out loud, telling her that Henrietta was chosen to do the Lord’s work, and that HeLa is her “spiritual body.” For the first time, Rebecca understands why the Lackses believe that Henrietta was selected for immortality.
To the Lackses, the existence of HeLa is the work of God—and for the first time, Skloot fully understands this. She sees now why the Lacks children believe that their mother’s spirit lives on in her cells, and comprehends why this is such an emotional and personal issue to them.
Themes
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Rebecca contemplates the division between religion and science, realizing that for the Lackses, a religious explanation of Henrietta’simmortality makes much more sense than a scientific one. She and Gary continue to read Bible passages.
The Lacks family also believes that the existence of HeLa confirms the existence of the afterlife—that, essentially, Henrietta is living out her eternal life as HeLa.
Themes
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs  Theme Icon