I’ll Scream Later
Marleen Beth Matlin is an American actress and author. She was born August 24, 1965 in Morton Grove Illinois, U.S. She is the only deaf performer to have won Academy Award for best Actress in Leading Role for Children of a Lessor God. She lost all her hearing in her right ear and 80% of the hearing in her left ear. She has been Deaf since she was 18 months old, due to illness and having a high fever.
She is also a prominent member of the national Association of the Deaf. The book review I’m going to be looking at I’ll Scream Later written by her in 2009. Her autobiography talks about how she thinks her hearing loss may have been due to a genetically malformed cochlea. The cochlea is the spiral cavity of the inner ear containing the organ of Corti, which produces nerve impulses in response to sound vibrations. She is the only member of her family who is deaf. She has two other brothers that are hearing.
One of the reasons I decided to do a book review of her is because she also was on the so Seinfeld and Dancing with the Stars. I watched Seinfeld so much when I was growing up. I feel like because she has so many parts in movies and is very involved in the Deaf community she is a very influential Deaf person. One of Matlins first stage debut was at the age of 7, as Dorothy in the ICODA (International Center for Deafness and the Arts) version of the Wizard of Oz. In the Sacks book we read in class we talked about some people that are Deaf may feel very isolated and become depressed because of it. In this book it shows the reader that just because you’re Deaf doesn’t mean you’re disabled in anyway.
Matlin has done so many interesting things in her life and hasn’t let her deafness hold her back or slow her down in anyway. It was a very good book. The plot of this story is about a young girl that was born into a family that are hearing. The story talks about what kind of struggles she went through growing up and how she tried to deal with those struggles. The story takes you through some her past relationship problems and her journey of how she became such a star in Hollywood.
One of the technologies used was closed-captioning. She was one of the first people to really push for closed-captioning and she used her star power to make a difference. In 2009 she acted as an advocate for the deaf community and sat down with those companies. She has been fighting for the past five years to get companies that offer streaming and online video to include closed captioning for the 35 million Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing.
I feel like her view of herself at the beginning of the book was she was very shy and felt alone but by the end of the story she changed completely. One of the very first pages of her book she says: “February 2, 1987, it’s nearing dusk when my plane lands in Palm Springs. No one is my family is there to meet me. No friends. Just a stranger, an old man with a face that looks as if it has traveled a thousand miles of bad road.” (Marlee Matlin, 1) I love how that’s how she started of her story. I feel like that expresses how some deaf people may have felt at times. Having no family and no friends there to greet her. The feeling of being so alone and isolated. I feel like her experience in Hollywood changed her view about herself because she had to become a stronger more confident person if she wanted to survive in entertainment. I feel like she gained quite of bit of confidence over the years from looking at her career success.
I think one of the insights I gained from this book is how much deaf people truly must go through. A lot of people can’t share their stores and their voices and will never be heard. They go through most of their life flying under the radar. I like how in her book it expresses all the things she went through to get to where she is now. I don’t know if it’s different for her because she is a celebrity but I feel like it expressed what it’s like to be deaf. I think it helped that she’s a celebrity so should could spread the world about deafness. That’s why she still is an active member of the national Association of the Deaf.
In my opinion I think the same situation might occur today but not at such a greater scale. The book talks about how many people treated her differently when she came to Hollywood because she was deaf. Many actors felt like she wasn’t suited for acting and gave her the cold shoulder. She started her acting career around 1986 I feel like there might have been some discrimination because of her gender also. Looking beyond this book, I looked online at interviews she had and she stated:
“I look at these situations not as challenges, but as opportunities to show how proud I am of my rich culture – deaf culture. I like the new way of looking at Deaf culture. It’s called Deafhood. It’s the idea that deafness has a positive value rather than as something that needs to be cured of is challenging. It’s all about making noise and standing up for who we are. Being deaf means being anything but silent. On the contrary, when one accepts deaf people of all kinds and language preferences as their culture, one realizes that silence is the last thing one will ever hear from them.”
I feel like now a day’s people are more accepting of women taking on more powerful roles. I don’t think the situation would be as much of a struggle though. The book talks about how she struggled with depression and how she turned to drugs to cope. I feel like in present day there are a lot more support groups for people that are deaf and people that struggle with depression. The book Sacks mentions how important it is to have a strong support group when you or one of your family members is deaf and I feel present day has more options to help people.
I would recommend this book to other readers. I feel like I’ll scream Later, takes the readers on a touching journey of her life, from the frightening loss of her hearing when she was a baby at only 18 months old. It talks about how she has made it in Hollywood with all her highs and lows in life. The book gives the reader a good example of what the emotional side of being deaf is like.
The story talks about how it was hard for her family to connect with her. Marlee struggled all her life to connect with people. She even had trouble connecting with her own mother because of the language barrier. The story talks about how she struggled with the use of drugs during some of her life, trying to deal with what she was going through. I just think it’s an overall very good book, showing how someone can overcome any type of barrier they might have in their life.
I’ll Scream Later