The Role Of Guilt In Michael Greenberg's Hurry Down Sunshine '

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The Hidden Love Behind Guilt Draft In the novel Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg, Greenberg’s daughter, Sally, experiences a psychotic breakdown. The novel tells the story of her illness and how it affects her family, especially her father. The psychosis Sally faces bring feelings of guilt to Greenberg because he believes he is the reason this illness has come upon her. In a situation so foreign and wrought with emotion Greenberg feels an immense amount of guilt for putting Sally in the psych hospital in the first place. Greenberg thinks about his ex wife, Robin, and her opinion of his decision, “I half expect her to accuse me of putting Sally here, of turning her into a mental patient” (Greenberg 73). He tries to blame himself for his …show more content…
She talks about her father with high regard, as if he is the cure to her “inability” to walk. “As soon as my father comes, he’ll get me a real doctor and all this nonsense will be finished. He promised he’d come” (104). Kara, being discharged from the hospital, notices the absence of her father and “her legs buckle under her”. In this moment Greenberg thinks to himself, “I have this irrational urge to stand in for her father, who has failed to show up. I could do for her what I have been unable to do for Sally. But what would that mean?” (105). Being Sally’s father and having the inability to redeem her of her psychosis causes him an immense amount of remorse. He feels compelled to support Kara because he knows having her father there is most likely the solution to her problem, whereas Greenberg feels pointless in Sally’s progression to normalcy. One thing he can learn from his observation of Kara is that he was present for Sally unlike Kara’s father for his daughter. Infact, his sole impact on his daughter of just being present, is tremendous despite Sally’s reactions and comments towards him during her

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