My Left Foot short summary & analysis

My Left Foot


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My Left Foot - Christy Brown

Categories:Biographies & Memoirs

My Left Foot Analysis

The Irish author Christy Brown's book My Left Foot is one of the best autobiographies in the world, and more than that, we can say that it is also a perfect and motivating self-help book. Whenever you read Christy Brown's real-life story and his struggles for life, your view of life changes and the goals you wish to accomplish become more accessible to you.

The novel My Left Foot consists of 16 short chapters and every chapter presents an adventure from Christy Brown’s life.

My Left Foot Short Summary

Christy Brown’s mother discovers that her son is a different child about whom the doctors thought he would not live long since he was born with cerebral palsy and, as a result of this, he would have mental retardation. Her mother does everything for his son, without caring what the doctors say and without losing her hope. Being aware of this, Christy Brown continues his life, observing his environment for a while without being able to move his body. One day while he was watching his sister doing her homework with a piece of chalk, he picked up the piece of chalk with his foot on a sudden impulse and started to draw something. This shocks everyone including his mother and his mother sees the hope in him again. Then, her mother decides to teach him the alphabet and Christy Brown draws the letter A with his foot for the first time.

In the next chapter, it is told that Christy Brown learns the entire alphabet using his left foot and with the help of his mother. Drawing things with his left foot and learning is a new start in his life. Christy Brown wants more of this, and beyond the alphabet, starts to learn the words. He calls his mother first and shows to her his first word he wrote. This word is ‘MOTHER’.

Christy Brown continues to live completely dependent on his left foot. But he has also a toy which he is dependent on. It is a doll pushchair. He could go anywhere using it with his siblings and enjoyed his life. This doll pushchair, which he calls 'Hanry', is the only thing that connects him to outside world. But this pushchair is old, and it gets broken one day and becomes dysfunctional. Christy's whole world comes crashing down around him. His siblings go outside to play without him and he cannot do anything but just watch them.

After a while, Christy’s mother buys him a new pushchair, but life is not what it used to be. Christy keeps growing up and he can now perceive what is happening around him better. Once, he sees himself in the mirror and does not like what he sees. Despite his new pushchair, Christy does not want to go out anymore and locks himself in the house even more.

The New Year comes, and everyone opens their New Year presents. Christy is given toy soldiers, but he cannot help looking at the crayons given to his sister. He wants them more them anything. One day, when he is alone at home, he takes the crayons and starts painting. When his mother sees this, she helps him. Christy’s world changes once again. After a long time, he feels alive again.

Painting becomes Christy Brown’s greatest desire. But, in time he is acquainted with love, too. But, his is a hopeless love and thus he experiences his first pangs of love while he is still in his young age. But he does not give up on love, too. He falls in love with the girl named Jenny in the neighborhood and sends her a note. He says he wants to draw a picture of her in the note and invites her. This makes the girl pleased and spends time with Christy. But, in time, she also keeps herself aloof from him. Being let down, Christy experiences the pangs of love again.

In time, Christy becomes introverted again. Painting does not create the expected impact any more, too. He starts taking possible treatment options. Once, he makes his way to France and meets people who came there with a hope. But he cannot find what he hoped for. Later he starts physiotherapy with a doctor’s help, but, in exchange for this, he is asked to give up the one thing he has. In order to be successful in physiotherapy, Christy has to stop using his left foot. Christy agrees, and physiotherapy begins. But the house is too small and the doctor cannot work with Christy comfortably. Thereupon, his mother comes to his aid once more. She builds a house in the backyard with the money she saved up scarcely. His mother becomes successful again.

While Christy is taking treatment, on the other hand, he plunges into new quests. One day, while his sister is doing her homework, he sees how much difficulty he has in writing and he comes up with an idea. He would say, and she would write. Thus, Christy decides to write a book. But something is missing. Thereupon, his asks his doctor’s help again, and his doctor teaches him how to write a book. Thus, Christy begins writing his autobiography.

Christy completes the first two chapters of his book, ‘The Letter “A”’ and ‘M-O-T-H-E-R’. A charity night is organized also with his doctor’s effort and the doctor wants to read these two chapters on the stage. Christy and his family members are all too excited. Christy is on the stage and his mother and father take their places on the first row in the audience. Everyone gets emotional when the doctor finishes reading these two chapters and they all applaud him standing up. Christy, who is thought to be mentally retarded, is now both a painter and an author.