The Wounded Story Teller ch. 3 Reading Response

In the third chapter of The Wounded Storyteller, Arthur Frank declares that ill people are called to tell stories about their illness whether or not they particularly want to tell those stories. Stories about illness must be told to medical professionals, families, and friends. However, those stories also can serve as a sort of road map for the ill person to renavigate what their life looks like in different health. Frank describes ill people as a “narrative wreck” as they tell their stories, and states that sometimes this jumble of words and memories can sometimes “be worse than having no story at all”. Not only is it exhausting to live with the physical side effects of illness, but it can also be equally as exhausting to have to repeat what is often asked to be a perfect recount of the illness for different people over and over again. Frank uses a candid tone to express these points through personal and general anecdotes in the first couple of pages of this chapter. Additionally, he uses the metaphor of a shipwreck in his description of illness stories told by those afflicted by the illnesses.