The Clan of onebreasted women

Length: 4 Pages 1000 Words

“The Clan of One-Breasted Women” Terry Tempest Williams, the author of the “The Clan of One-Breasted Women”, criticizes the United States’ government for being deceitful about the causes and effects nuclear testing has on humans. Williams is a Mormon belonging to a clan of one-breasted women. Her mother, grandmother, and six aunts suffered from mastectomies. Seven are dead and only two survived due to the completion of chemotherapy and radiation. For years as long as she could remember, Williams had a dream about seeing a bright light in the night at the desert. When talking to her dad one day, she was told that she really saw the light and it wasn’t a dream. The light was in fact the result of an atomic testing in Nevada on September 7, 1957. It was at this point that Williams had realized why so many of her family members and people living in Utah, were diagnosed with cancer. Many women filed law suites and protested, trying to stop nuclear testing; but every attempt was unsuccessful and failed. When confronted about the situation, the United States’ government assured the American public that nuclear testing was not the cause of cancer in this region of the country. One of the law suits f Continue...


Something she struggles with because she was taught differently as a little child. But one by one, I have watched the women in my family die common, heroic deaths...the price of obedience has become too high. ...for many years I have done just that...in a culture that rarely asks questions because it has all the answers. What made them feel betrayed the most was that the United States' government did not take any responsibility and refused to admit that what they did in fact caused many illnesses. She asserts that the governments' actions gave the impression that the public's health was just not a "big deal and was not much of a concern for them. This gives the reader an idea bout the author's state of emotion and how emotionally drained she is. I was taught as a young girl not to "make waves or "rock the boat. For example she states: "When the Atomic Energy Commission described the country north of the Nevada Test Site as "virtually uninhabited desert terrain, my family and the birds at Great Salt Lake were some of the "virtual uninhabitants. In this essay, Williams explains that the situation many people in Utah are living in is unfortunate, and that cancer is a really common illness in this region. Williams states, "It was the first time a federal court had determined that nuclear tests had been the cause of cancers... it was considered a landmark ruling. Williams also mentions that in some cultures, people have been taught to watch and listen and silently shape their own opinions and believes. That it was completely safe and harmless. Again this is an opinion, not a proven fact.