We see a great contrast in this segment of the book when looking at the different sides of David's mother. On page 175 she gives in and brings David his contraband "adult literature". She figures at this point he is dead anyways so what difference would it make? But later on she reverts back to her old ways and ends up taking back the book once she realizes he is going to live. After a near death experience she moves on in a second, she doesn't value him any more after that than she did before which I think shows a lot about her character. From this I cant help but wonder, how much does she really love her son? Does she struggle to express emotion or is her son mainly just an inconvenience to her?
David is faced with an identity crisis after his surgery when he loses ability to speak. His mother states it as "The fact that you now have no voice will define you from here on in, like your fingerprints, the color of your eyes, your name."(186). Here his identity is being defined for him, by his doctors who made his silence no longer a choice, as well as his own mother. We see him struggle with this newly found "fate" he has been presented with on page 190 and 191 where he comes face to face with his stitches and what the doctors had done to him. " Surely this is not me. No friend it surely is". David does not want to accept this as his new identity regardless of how other people are trying to construct it. And why should he trust other people and their construction of his identity when they lied to him about having cancer.