Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Chapter 9, Just a Head Summary & Analysis

Mary Roach
This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Stiff.
This section contains 735 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Study Guide

Chapter 9, Just a Head Summary and Analysis

Chapter 9 looks at decapitation, reanimation, and head transplants. Since the brain is supposedly the seat of consciousness, Roach reasons, it might be possible to communicate with a recently severed head in the seconds before it expires. Led by this notion that a severed head might briefly maintain awareness, Dr. Joseph Ignace Guillotin, the man after whom the Guillotine was named, rescinded his support of decapitation as a humane form of execution.

Despite Guillotin's concern, the Guillotines of late 18th century France continued operation. Any scientific test of severed-head-awareness was deemed too ghastly to consider. Nevertheless, the idea had entered the public consciousness. This idea persisted until Georges Martin, assistant to the Paris executioner and witness to 120 beheadings, testified that severed heads were motionless after decapitation. Medical science was satisfied for the moment.

In 1812, a French...

(read more from the Chapter 9, Just a Head Summary)

This section contains 735 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Study Guide
Copyrights
BookRags
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers from BookRags. (c)2016 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook