The Importance Of Freedom And Freedom In Girl Interrupted

924 Words 4 Pages
One of the major themes in the book, Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, is the overlap of freedom and captivity. An example of this is how at McLean Hospital the patients are ‘free’ from the pressures of society, like judgement and responsibility. However, on page 47, Kaysen writes that, “Freedom was the price of privacy,” describing how the mentally ill were only able to get privacy by giving up their freedom. This is visited again on page 94, when she says that, “In a strange way we were free…We had nothing more to lose. Our privacy, our liberty, our dignity. All of this was gone and we were stripped down to the bare bones of our selves.” This poses the question of whether freedom from judgement and acceptance from surrounding people is …show more content…
In the beginning of the memoir Susanna Kaysen details the meeting with the doctor who sent to McLean Hospital, a decision that would affect the next two years of her life. Further in the book Kaysen wonders how long the initial meeting was by retracing her steps, but admits that the hospital’s records of a three hour meeting might be correct. Then Kaysen adds a new piece of evidence in another hospital record that fits her timeline. The use of evidence persuades the reader to believe everything she says is true. Yet, through the inconsistencies of Susanna’s memory and contradicting pieces of evidence Kaysen proves that she is an unreliable narrator, illustrating how human judgment is uncertain and not always trustworthy. Additionally, the use of the diagnostic elements concerning Borderline Personality Disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders adds to Kaysen’s logos (Kaysen 147-9). This provided the reader with knowledge of the requirements to diagnose a mental disorder, allowing Susanna to analyze her diagnosis in the next chapter and question if the diagnosis was accurate to her …show more content…
Reading this book forced me to look at my life and beliefs about a topic I originally thought I already knew about. “Girl, Interrupted” gives a personal and presumably honest view of mental illness and the discrimination people faced in the past. Without knowing how things used to be, it is difficult to appreciate and understand the changes that have occurred and how lucky we are today. This enables people to see a more complete picture mental illness, including both the changes we’ve made and the problems we still need to fix. The question of normal and our definitions of it and how it comes to be within groups of people was a question I hadn’t fully delved into and one I wouldn’t have thought to further question, had I not read Girl,

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