Critical Response – Term Paper Example

Assignment Smile or Die: The Bright Side of Cancer The book “Smile or Die: The Bright Side of Cancer” by Barbara Ehrenreich published in 2010 dwells on authors experience of being diagnosed with a breast cancer and her encounters with “sugar-coated” breast cancer culture where no bad thoughts allowed. Enrenreich (2010) discovers that despite poor prognosis and damaging flow of the disease, it is often presented as a good change in life that makes people meet the best people and live the most pleasant moments. At the same time, this positivity culture is high commercialized as it brings to life many symbolic attributes like cancer bears or “pink rhinestone brooches, angel pins, scarves, caps, earrings, and bracelets”. Enrenreich (2010) is surprised that she cannot openly talk about her negative feelings about cancer because she is criticized by her fellows. Overall, this book presents breast cancer as a disease and unveils how it is presented to be something better and much more pleasant than possible death and years of unpleasant treatment.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer, or any other disease, is a natural source of distress for people because they understand that life will never be he same. Positive psychologists convince them that people can benefit from their condition by perceiving benefits they get alongside with therapy and pain. I think that people have a right to decide how they should cope with the condition they get and if they feel more comfortable expressing their negativity about the disease, they have a right to do this freely. Enrenreich (2010) supports the position of being realists because positivity “encourages us to deny reality, submit cheerfully to misfortune, and blame only ourselves for our fate”. Her attitude is fair and sober; it does not mean that people should switch from positive thoughts to self-destructive behaviors but it shows that people see what they want to see and if they decide to treat cancer as something good they should not attack those who do not agree to do the same.
In summary, this book enforces a new understanding of breast cancer culture and “pink sentiment” that surrounds it everywhere. There are no clear proofs that positive psychology works but it makes people feel better about their lives. Perhaps, it is the main reason why they actively engage with this culture because they get support from it. On the other hand, Enrenreichs arguments is reasonable as this culture traces unrealistic perception of positive psychology as a panacea and breast cancer as something not as serious as it really is.
Ehrenreich, B.. (2010). Smile or die: How positive thinking fooled America & the world. Granta Books, 235pp. ISBN13: 9781847081735