Train Go Sorry Book Summary - Train Go Sorry Book explained in key points

Train Go Sorry summary

Leah Hager Cohen

Brief summary

Train Go Sorry is a memoir by Leah Hager Cohen that explores the world of the Lexington School for the Deaf, examining the struggles and triumphs of the students and the Deaf community as they navigate a hearing-dominated society.

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    Train Go Sorry
    Summary of key ideas

    A Journey into the Deaf World

    In Train Go Sorry, author Leah Hager Cohen weaves her personal journey with the narrative of the Lexington School for the Deaf in Queens, New York, where her father serves as the superintendent. Set during a significant time of change in the deaf community, the book captures the struggles associated with deafness, battles for deaf rights and the nuances of Deaf culture.

    The book opens with Cohen reminiscing her childhood, growing up on Lexington’s campus. She learns sign language before speaking and forms a bond with the deaf community. Meanwhile, the narrative also introduces Sofia, a Lexington student struggling with segments of American Sign Language and James, a Gallaudet University graduate struggling to integrate into the hearing world.

    Deaf Culture and Misunderstandings

    Cohen presents an intricate rendition of Deaf culture, contraposing it with the prevailing societal norms. She emphasizes how hearing people often misinterpret deafness as an impairment rather than a unique culture with its language. Through her first-hand experiences, she details the marginalization of deaf individuals and their fight for recognition and equality.

    Through Sofia and James, Cohen portrays the realities faced by deaf individuals. Sofia, an immigrant, experiences challenges adjusting to the American deaf education system and society, while James navigates complex struggles between his personal and professional life, highlighting the struggles many deaf individuals encounter.

    Transformations and Triumphs

    The story unfolds during the Deaf President Now! protest, a pivotal moment in Deaf history. The Lex, too, is going through a transition, shifting from a nurturing voice-off community to accepting aids like cochlear implants, symbolizing larger changes in the deaf community’s views towards technology. During this transition, Sofia begins to adjust and progress in her language abilities.

    James, on the other hand, starts teaching at 'The Lex' and finds his passion and a sense of belongingness. Cohen uses these triumphs to demonstrate the community's resilience and the potentialities unlocked when deaf individuals are given opportunities and acceptance.

    Exploration of Identity and Acceptance

    Cohen’s personal narrative intertwines with the accounts of the Lexington School and its students. She wrestles with her identity, caught between the Deaf and hearing worlds, and her guilt towards what she sees as her 'hearing privilege'.

    By the end of Train Go Sorry, Cohen realizes that her path is forever entwined with Deaf culture. She arrives at a deeper understanding of Deaf life and reinforces the idea that the world needs to recognize and value the richness of Deaf culture, demonstrating that 'sorry' signifies not only regret but a longing for more inclusivity and understanding.

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    What is Train Go Sorry about?

    Train Go Sorry (1994) is a captivating memoir about growing up in two worlds—the hearing and the deaf. Leah Hager Cohen, a hearing child of deaf parents, portrays the rich culture and unique challenges of the deaf community. The book sheds light on the impact of language, communication, and the power of understanding and acceptance.

    Who should read Train Go Sorry?

    • People interested in the experiences of the deaf community
    • Individuals curious about the challenges faced by deaf students in mainstream education
    • Readers who appreciate personal narratives that shed light on the power of communication and understanding

    About the Author

    Leah Hager Cohen is an acclaimed author who has made a significant impact on the literary world. With a career spanning several decades, Cohen has written numerous books that explore complex themes and emotions. Her works delve into the intricacies of human relationships, identity, and the power of language. Some of her notable books include The Grief of Others and I Don't Know. Cohen's insightful writing and storytelling ability have garnered her praise and recognition from both readers and critics alike.

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