Personal Themes In Girl, Interrupted By Susanna Kaysen

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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 …show more content…
She states that she was never a danger to others and was questioning if she was really trying to harm herself. She was only trying to purge or “self-abort” the things she does not like about herself, which worked for her for a period of time. (39). She started living her life and it seemed like she began to turn her life around for the better. Kaysen started doing better in school, started a new venture in her love life, and felt better then she had ever felt. She also states that she has no desire to even attempt it again, which means that she really does not want to commit suicide; she was only trying to find a quick fix to the issues she was having during that time. Another quote in Kaysen’s novel that that stands out is, “Fifty aspirin is a lot of aspirin, but going onto the street and fainting is like putting the gun back in the drawer,” in which she uses a simile to talk about her failed attempt to commit suicide (17). This particular quote shows that she never truly wanted to die. If she did, she would have stayed inside, where she was originally, instead of venturing out where someone could find her and help her. With all the struggles she faces mentally throughout the book it makes her wonder, did people around her label her insane because she did not fit the image others wanted her to be or was she truly mentally ill (154,155)? With her contemplating suicide over the simplest of things that would not affect a mentally healthy individual and her emotional instability throughout the novel, it would lead one to believe the latter of the

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