Never The Twain Shall Meet Book Report


Word Count: 1927

Throughout the ITP program and the lower level ASL classes the name Gallaudet is driven into our heads. We know of the University named after him and how he was the man to bring education to the Deaf in America. What was not before mentioned is that there were two Gallaudets. The first thing I learned from this book is the importance of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and his son Edward Miner Gallaudet. I fact I had believed for some time now that E.M. Gallaudet was this extraordinary man that everyone loved and the named a university after him. It is unfortunate that this was not made clearer in the past. Now all I see is a man who took the only path that he knew how to take.
E.M. Gallaudet had very little choice but to instruct in the way that he did. It is true that it was ultimately his choice but I believe that nurture is much more powerful than nature. E.M.ís mother was taught sign and communicated in sign to her husband and child. Naturally E.M. would think this is the best method of instruction. To think other wisely would be to say that his mother was inadequate. In turn this would mean that his upbringing was inadequate which would lead to the conclusion that he himself was an inadequate person. For his own salvation and peace of mind E.M. was given his path at birth. For him to have strayed from this would have ended up being a long and lonely road cutting all ties with the past.
So E.M. like any normal man of that time chose to follow the path that was set out for him. T.H. Gallaudet was himself a teacher and I am sure passed on many of these traits to his son if not genetically then in his upbringing. It was no surprise to me after finding out that T.H. was himself a teacher that E.M. would be a teacher. This was further specializing in that T.H. was a teacher of the Deaf, which was to be the life long profession for E.M.
In the beginning E.M. wanted to be a business man and make lots of money. This is probably attributed to the life he must have had with his father living the lifestyle of a minister. His dreams were of course cut short when his father died. E.M. tried his hand at some business in the bank but deciding on an education went to college. To pay for this venture E.M. did the only thing that he knew how to due and that was work in the Deaf world. In the book it is mentioned that he received the job through family ties. I can accept the obvious in that his father used to run the school. Looking more deeply into that sentence I believe that the underlying meaning holds more information.
The ties to E.M.ís family lied not in the school board but rather in him. I believe that he felt tied to the Deaf world and in a sense felt that by his fathers early death E.M. needed to carry on the family name in educating the Deaf. I sense that E.M. was finishing what his father had started. E.M. did find a way to differ himself from the past in one distinct way.
In his first marriage the author made it clear that E.M. was not all too involved. With his second wife he apparently loved her but still he was not so devoted to her. With the amount of time they were separated and their odd relationship. I wonder, wether or not this was a desired union as well. The book mentioned E.M. possible homosexuality I propose that E.M. wanted to be with the Deaf and not the hearing. Perhaps he wanted at the same time to educate and become more intimately involved with the Deaf. As his father before him was.
One thing I found surprising was that E.M. did not enter religion. In a way though he learned to proper method of preaching. In that preaching is a method to bring others to see and agree with your point of view. E.M. demonstrated this with his exceptional talent in dealing