RADIOACTIVE PRESENTATION 4
Pgs. 338-339 • 1. How does the author use art and writing to introduce the war? Do you ﬁnd this technique effective? Why or why not? • Lauren Redniss uses two black standard-sized pages with white writing. The war is introduced in one simple sentence, “In the summer of 1914, war stormed into Europe.” • Answers will vary for the second part of the question.
2. What role did Marie and her daughter Irene play in the war of 1914? • Marie and her daughter worked alongside one another as nurses and radiologists. They helped construct mobile X-ray facilities, which helped soldiers receive treatment. Doctors were able to see where their patients were wounded.
3. Why was luminous paint popular during the war? • The war was fought at night, and it was useful to have objects that glowed in the dark. Luminous paint was used on objects that needed to be seen in the dark, such as compass dials or gun sights.
4. How did the public treat Marie by the time of the armistice in 1918? Why do you think the public treated her this way? • Marie was treated as a “moral authority” and no longer labeled a home wrecker. Rather, she was considered someone to be sought for advice by organizations such as the nascent League of Nations and the French antiwar movement. The public treated her this way due to her efforts in the war.
5. How did Marie respond to fame? What does this tell us about her as a person? • Marie shied away from fame and did not like the attention. She found fame unsettling. • The more well known she became, the more private she became. Answers will vary for the second part of the question.
6. How did Irene meet her husband Frédéric Joliot? Why does this relationship mirror Marie and Pierre’s? • Frédéric Joliot is hired as Marie’s assistant and he meets Irene in the lab. Eventually, they fall in love and marry. Their relationship mirrors Marie and Pierre’s in that they fall in love through the world of science, living and working together as one mind.
7. In your own words, describe what Irene and Frédéric discover in regards to radioactivity. What could this discovery mean for science, nature, and mankind? • Answers will vary.
8. How did years of radiation exposure affect Marie’s wellbeing? • Marie became incredibly sick and her health declines with time. She suffered from skin infections and severe and chronic internal pain. Marie had to undertake a special diet in an attempt to save her life. She also suffered from impaired vision and hearing, and died due to radiation exposure.
9. What is the Merry Widow Health Mine? What is its purpose? What makes it controversial? • The Merry Widow Health Mine is a mine that has been transformed into a radon spa. It is a center for people to come to treat their ailments, such as diabetes, migraines and depression. The mine is controversial because it is believed to be dangerous by the United States Surgeon General and the Environmental Protection Agency; however, visitors claim the mine heals illness.
10. Why was Irene arrested at LaGuardia Airport in New York? • Irene’s host during her visit to the United States was Dr. Edward Barsky, who was being watched by the Un-American Activities Committee for his work with the Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee. This, coupled with the fact that Frédéric was a member of the Communist Party, made American authorities suspicious of Irene, and therefore they arrested her for interrogation.
11. How did Irene and Frédéric follow in Marie and Pierre’s footsteps? How did their children follow in their footsteps? • Irene and Frédéric suffered from radiation exposure, and they watched it destroy their health and wellbeing, just as it did to Marie and Pierre. Their children became scientists, and then their grandchildren did the same.
12. What type of printing does Lauren Redniss use and why? • Lauren Redniss uses cyanotype printing, and she explains the scientiﬁc process of this type of printing in detail at the back of the biography. Lauren uses this type of printing because she feels that it metaphorically parallels the life and work of Marie Curie.