Imagine you are Sarah Norman in Children of a Lesser God. Write a narrative from Sarah's point of view and explain why you do not want to learn lip reading and speech and why you want to stay comfortable as a member of the Deaf Culture only and not the larger "hearing" culture; add four lines from the play as part of Sarah's dialogue in your narrative.

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In writing a narrative from the point of view of Sarah Norman from Children of a Lesser God, it is important not only to consider Sarah's personality and character development through the play (as Ashley mentions here), but also to take into account the historical context of the play and the moment it is aiming to capture.

The conflict at the heart of Children of a Lesser God, which is the struggle for understanding in the relationship between Sarah (who is deaf) and James (who is hearing), is also mirrored in the larger historical backdrop for the play: the conflict between the Deaf community and the broader hearing society.

Any narrative that aims to take on Sarah's point of view needs to consider the world she was living in. Not only is it important to convey her independence and the value she places on that independence, but also the historical conditions that cause her to develop and cling to that independence. She grew up in a world that was always telling her what was best for her. Hearing people made the decisions about deaf education, ran the schools, and taught the deaf students what they felt was best. But when Sarah learns ASL and experiences the Deaf community, she sees the independence that comes with having a language to express herself, and she chooses the language and form of expression that is natural and fulfilling for her. Learning lip reading and speech doesn't feel the same way, and the hearing world forcing their own forms of expression on her makes her feel like they think ASL is lesser. Sarah wants to communicate with ASL not only because it is the language that works and was made for her, but also because in making that choice she is claiming an agency that the world has never given her. Her independence is rooted not only in her individuality, but also in her desire for a community that values her and takes her seriously. Her commitment to ASL is not a matter of "staying comfortable" but rather of being empowered.

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I think that one successful path to take in your narrative is to explore how Sarah's commitment to her independence prevents her from wanting to enter a world where she will have to be dependent on others. 

One of the most important moments in the drama is when Sarah insists that she is not going to be “the creation of other people.”  This emphasizes her independence.  It is an important character trait for Sarah.  Her independence is the reason why it is perceived as being so difficult to teach her.  It also represents her staunch defense against being forced to enter into the world of the hearing.  When she leaves James, forcing him to acknowledge that their reconciliation will only be possible when they can find “another place; not in silence or in sound but somewhere else,” her independent spirit is on full display.

I think that focusing on Sarah's autonomous voice can represent the basis of a solid narrative.  It will be effective in explaining why she should not want to learn lip reading and speech.  Her desire to have her own voice, one that is not in the spoken realm, embodies her independent spirit.  Her individuality as a person is defined through her condition as one who cannot hear.

In many ways, Sarah has taken what could be seen as a deformity and transformed it into a strength.  In refusing to conform to the standards of the hearing world, Sarah believes she maintains her authentic sense of self.  Your narrative can enhance this with specific references to the text.  For example, it can address about how Sarah felt betrayed by hearing boys who used her for sex.  Additionally, the narrative can communicate how James demonstrates an inability to respect her choices. He is insistent on enabling her to speak.  His confiding to Franklin that he still has not given this up reflects this.  The narrative can also emphasize how Sarah views the pool as an extension of her identity.  The reason why Sarah enjoys the pool is because it represents a domain where everyone experiences what she does. In the pool, she does not have to conform to others.  In entering the world of the hearing, she knows that she will lose one of the most important constructions of her identity:  Her independence.  In remaining as a member of the hearing impaired community, she can be who she is, and not have to change for anyone.

A narrative that places primacy on Sarah's spirit of independence can illuminate why she would not want to be forced to learn lip reading and speech.  It can fully flesh out how she wants to stay comfortable as a member of the Deaf Culture, rejecting a community where she would feel out of place. 

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