The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Eighteen – Current Event

Many people exaggerate their traits for personal gain. Some do this for love, some for fame, some for success, and others for pity. For today’s Current Event we explore an example of someone who was a victim of this type of person to the most extreme degree…

Gypsy Rose Blanchard

Keep reading or watch the video below to find out about this tragic story.

Reference in The Prince and the Pauper

“‘Peace! Here comes one with a kindly face. Now will I fall down in a fit. When the stranger runs to me, set you up a wail, and fall upon your knees, seeming to weep; then cry out as all the devils of misery were in your belly, and say, ‘Oh, sir, it is my poor afflicted brother, and we be friendless; o’ God’s name cast through your merciful eyes one pitiful look upon a sick, forsaken, and most miserable wretch; bestow one little penny out of thy riches upon one smitten of God and ready to perish!’—and mind you, keep you on wailing, and abate not till we bilk him of his penny, else shall you rue it.’” (p. 113)

Here we see Hugo pretending to be sick/injured in order to gain pity (and money) from a stranger.

Munchausen Syndrome

  • Disorder where someone repeatedly and deliberately acts as if they have a physical or mental illness when they are not really sick
  • Considered a mental illness
  • Named for an 18th century Baron who was known for exaggerating stories about his own life
  • Munchausen by Proxy – when a caregiver makes up or causes an illness in a person under his/her care

Gypsy Rose Blanchard

  • Lived in Springfield, MO
  • Gypsy was in a wheelchair, had a feeding tube, carried an oxygen tube with her, as long as a number of other health disorders including leukemia (when she was a toddler)
  • Her mom took care of her and they were very close
  • As Gypsy grew up, her mom began to lie about her age
  • They received a lot of help from different organizations due to all Gypsy’s disorders
  • Gypsy started talking online, and began realizing her mom was lying about some of her conditions
  • In the end, she decided to get help to fight back, and it resulted in her mother’s death (and Gypsy’s imprisonment)

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References (Warning: Some explicit content) (Warning: Some explicit content),child%20abuse%20or%20elder%20abuse.

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