“This disease is my enemy. A fetus is damaged when the mother drinks alcohol.”
This hoax is about the story of a fake Navajo writer, named Nasdjii, who claimed that his adopted son, died of fetal alcohol syndrome. The first sentence draws in the seriousness of the disease to the Native Americans, and the fact that he calls it his enemy reinforces his love for his dying son; he would defeat this enemy of a disease if it meant the Navajo children could live longer. Because the disease is known to kill the children it affects, it draws forth questions on why he reiterates its effects so many times. Who is he trying to convince of what? His use of the word disease instead of illness shows how he believes that a foreign matter has infected his son, rather than his son being born with such a sickness that makes him ill. The brevity of the sentence, no explanations or details, may hint to the hoax-like qualities where he avoids giving specifics about Tommy’s short life.
The second sentence moves on to talk about how FAS comes about. It places all blame completely on the mother, and tying it into the first sentence, it makes it seem as if because the mother is the cause of the disease, the mother is automatically apart of the of the problem, an enemy to the health of the child. The first part of the sentence, “a fetus is damaged” could be representative of his beliefs that a baby is not a baby until it is born, and also the fact that he says damaged instead of more harmful words is effective in representing his optimism of life. A person can live a damaged life, but they cannot live a doomed or dead life. The vagueness of the statement alcohol instead of specifying which kind if any has more of an affect on the health of the fetus shows the lack of knowledge that Nasdjii really has about this so called illness. It also shows how much his cultural knew about medicine at the time, if this is a part of the hoax or an actual thing he had no idea about is unclear.