Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers


Imbolo Mbue

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Behold the Dreamers: Chapter 22 Summary & Analysis

Neni returns from the Hamptons and tells Betty about Cindy being a product of rape, to which Betty responds that it’s now no surprise why Cindy drinks. She also suspects that Cindy takes painkillers, based on how she looked when Neni found her in the guestroom. Betty says that women like Cindy are usually prescribed painkillers and then start taking them for pleasure. Betty talks about how she was given Vicodin last year after delivering her stillborn baby. Neni thinks that she may have seen the name of the drug on the label of the empty medicine bottle that she saw in the guest bathroom garbage. Betty figures that Cindy must know someone who can get her the pills and wonders how many Cindy takes per day.
Betty reveals to Neni how easy it is to become addicted to prescription drugs and that corruption among healthcare providers fosters Cindy’s addiction—that is, as long as she can pay for the drugs, she can find someone who’ll obtain them for her or a doctor who will write a prescription. When Betty uses the phrase “women like Cindy,” she’s referring to wealthy women who become addicted to pills because they offer the pleasure of illicit drugs without the shame. Furthermore, they have the means to obtain them.
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