Essay about Girl, Interrupted, By Susanna Kaysen

1435 Words Oct 15th, 2015 6 Pages
Susanna Kaysen’s 1993 best-selling novel “Girl, Interrupted,” is a memoir about her time spent at McLean Hospital, a psychiatric facility in Massachusetts, in 1967 after swallowing 50 aspirin. She only spends less than twenty minutes speaking to a doctor during which he diagnoses her with having borderline personality disorder with schizophrenic tendencies. He then swiftly and forcibly sends her to McLean Hospital where she spends nearly two years of her life, at the age of 18, in the ward for teenage girls. Her novel is based on multiple diary entries depicting the people, places and experiences she encounters while in the psychiatric facility. The girls she meets while at McLean somehow, faults and all, created almost a sisterly-like bond during their time in the ward and Kaysen even kept in touch with some of them after her stay there. Through Kaysen’s use of figurative language, vivid description of the settings and characterization of the patients, the readers gain insight into the struggle she has with understanding the line between insane and social nonconformity.
I wasn 't a danger to society. Was I a danger to myself? The fifty aspirin--but I 've explained them. They were metaphorical. I wanted to get rid of a certain aspect of my character. I was performing a kind of self-abortion with those aspirin. It worked for a while. Then it stopped,-but I had no heart to try again. (39) In this quote, Kaysen described her attempt at suicide as a metaphor. She states that…

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