Girl Interrupted Essay

2227 words - 9 pages

Susanna Kaysen is the author of Girl Interrupted, her memoirs that explore a two-year period that she spent as a patient in a mental institution for young women. Split into three sections, mind versus brain, the clinical definition of a borderline personality disorder, and her diagnosis, her memoirs serve as an argument against her clinical diagnosis. In "Mind vs. Brain" we are given a layman's introduction to psychology. Kaysen, through the use of various writing techniques, explains to the average reader what psychology is. Then, as a preface to her main argument, we are shown the different aspects of a borderline personality disorder and how one is diagnosed. Along with this scientific ...view middle of the document...

"I'm you're mind, you can't parse me into dendrites and synapses" (269). And with this statement, Kaysen personifies the human mind. Having a living breathing personality, the reader is able to draw a picture of it and see in a brighter light what she is explaining. She expands on this, explaining the interaction in the brain being that of two interpreters, one reporter and one news analyst. She turns the mind into a collection of conversations instead of a ball of gray matter. While this concept of gray matter is tangible, our minds can grasp the idea of constantly battling interpreters. She continues by providing the reader with a model of the conversation that occurs in the human mind.Interpreter One: There's a tiger in the corner.Interpreter Two: No, that's not a tiger - that's a bureau.Interpreter One: It's a tiger, it's a tiger!Interpreter Two: Don't be ridiculous. Let's go look at it.(270)The dialogue acts as a short play that the reader can act out in his/her mind. By creating this metaphor, Kaysen is able to portray to the reader what many psychology textbooks often fail at doing; She explains how the mind works on a simple level. She then juxtaposes this healthy model with one that is afflicted by mental illness. Simply, the reader learns what separates a healthy mind from an ill one. This approach to modeling the brain is effective because she stretches out her initial thesis on the mind to span her discussion of the mind and brain. It is effective because she doesn't begin her exploration by scaling the peaks of Everest. She traverses the foothills first, proceeds to hiking, and then begins her ascent of the mountain itself. Many scientific approaches to modeling the human mind begin at the top and evaluate its structure through soil composition, climate, biodiversity, and more. But, Kaysen starts at the roots and crawls slowly up through the branches, making sure not to jump or skip over any necessary parts.Next, she deals with the role of psychoanalysts in the field. She compares their work to reporting on a country they have never visited. This conclusion to her initial thesis is quite effective in summing up the information she presented on the mind and brain. Basically, she explains that you can never really understand what is going on in the mind of a mental patient without being in their shoes and experiencing it for yourself. "Psychoanalysts have been writing op-ed pieces about the workings of a country they've never traveled to," (272) is how Kaysen puts it. One could interpret her metaphor as pointing out that they are hypocrites, but it is more accurately a suggestion she puts forth; you can't understand mental illness fully without actually having been a member in its society. This is perhaps why Kaysen is able to describe the mind with such ease. The language and style employed by Susanna Kaysen in this literary work plays a profound role in convincing the reader of her beliefs.Kaysen's use of definition in this piece...

Other Essays On Girl Interrupted

A Close Analysis Of An Extract From Television Text Drawn From The Sitcom Genre: Friends, The One With All The Cheesecakes, Series 7 Episode 11

1403 words - 6 pages is interrupted by Rachel and it comes to light chandler has stolen the cake. In the second shot Rachel is in A position of power shown in the way she is framed, she is not entirely in-shot Chandler is the focus of shot in the corner scared (like a little boy). The look on Chandlers face and framing are emphasised by Rachel's school girl cry of "thief" and placing of hands on her hips in judgement in the next shot.This scene sets up the whole

A History On The Gershwin's Musical "Oh, Kay!" - History - Essay

2786 words - 12 pages about Jimmy’s imminent arrival until they are interrupted by two of the young cleaning ladies (namely, the twins Dolly and Phillipa Ruxton). Duke exits to find Shorty for help formulating a plan to move the stock out as quickly as they can, while Larry ends up flirting with the twins through song (how else?). After the number we briefly meet a character who seems to be snooping around the joint--but he leaves as Jimmy arrives with Constance in tow

Story about people who have powers! - Gravesend Grammar School - Creative Writing

5897 words - 24 pages fast for a longer period of time!” I moaned. Stella, you’re lucky to be a speedster even if it is temporal, you should be grateful,” Josh said to me. “Oooh, looks like someone’s jelly…” I teased. “I’m not jea…” I said before being interrupted by mom. “Josh, where are you and your sister, I’ve been waiting in the car for an hour,” mum exaggerated. “Mom, we’re in the kit…” Josh said as I threw lightning at my feet. His mouth stopped moving

George Eliot: The Use Of Objects And Imagery In "The Mill On The Floss"

4162 words - 17 pages Victorian's to control the world around them.It is first important to observe that in "The Mill on the Floss" the natural aspects of the world surrounding the Tulliver's and St. Ogg's are always interrupted by a form of unnatural mater. Many of the natural images in the novel, from passages about the Red Deeps, to the initial description of the Floss in Book First and the river itself, prove that everything natural has been affected by man-made

Coping With Hard Times

3330 words - 14 pages owners. Engels informs that, "the history of these unions is a long series of defeats of the working men, interrupted by a few isolated victories, " clearly showing the unlikelihood that a strike could succeed, and in return the workers are punished for it. Engels further supports this claim by stating, "for resistance to more considerable forces which influence the labour market, the unions are powerless. " He doubts that normal union actions

Harrison Bergeron, short story by Kurt Vonnegut - ULM English 1002 - Short Story

2201 words - 9 pages an answer to this question, George couldn't have supplied one. A siren was going off in his head. "Reckon it'd fall all apart," said Hazel. "What would?" said George blankly. "Society," said Hazel uncertainly. "Wasn't that what you just said? "Who knows?" said George. The television program was suddenly interrupted for a news bulletin. It wasn't clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a

it it it it it it is is is is is is spmethin g tomse ijbsurgoihn - ljvh - ;kjb

5339 words - 22 pages detect them. A subtle power was breathed into his words. Each member of the congregation, the most innocent girl, and the man of hardened breast, felt as if the preacher had crept upon them, behind his awful veil, and discovered their hoarded iniquity of deed or thought. Many spread their clasped hands on their bosoms. There was nothing terrible in what Mr. Hoo- per said, at least, no violence; and yet, with every tremor of his melan- choly

Polymer Mechanichemistry

265 words - 2 pages Summary of Polymer MechanochemistrySometimes, curiosity gets the best of you, it did with Aj Boydston, an assistant professor at the University of Washington. Mr. Boydston and his students at the university conducted experiments, used models and imagined what would happen to the behavior of polymers when polymers undergo mechanical stress. This is a field of chemistry called polymer mechanochemistry. Creating models of star polymers on a 2-D

the changing

288 words - 2 pages One hand Reaches out And pulls a lost soul from harm While a thousand more go unspoken for They say what good have you done By saving just this one It's like whispering a prayer In the fury of a storm And I hear them saying you'll never change things And no matter what you do it's still the same thing But it's not the world that I am changing I do this so this world will know That it will not change me This heart Still believes The love and mercy

The Importance Of The Act Of Reading” By Paulo Freire Essay

1423 words - 6 pages 4BredahlHarlie Cheyenne BredahlProfessor Peter EppsComposition II08 September 2014I"The Importance of the Act of Reading" by Paulo Freire, describes the importance of the act of reading beyond numerous experiences in his life as a child, a teenager, and an adult. Freire begins his article by taking readers back to where he was born, in his home city Recife, Brazil. He uses very itemized imagery to describe the trees, the house and the atmosphere

American Dream

765 words - 4 pages The American Dream is the quintessence of a comfortable victorious life, which often includes material prosperity, a house, an improved life for one's kids, and sometimes; it means achieving any goals one may have regardless of what class he or she comes from (O'Connor, Sabato and, Yanus 19). In recent years, it has become more difficult to achieve the American Dream; this is mainly due various issues involving the relationship between the

Similar Papers

"Girl Inturrupted" Short Resume Essay

443 words - 2 pages 'Girl Interrupted' is a film set in the 60`s where, sex, drugs and big glasses are in.Hippies embodied this era, making it a memorable age. This movie depicts a darker side of the hippie-filled era where our protagonist, Susana (Wynona Rider), is committed to a mental ward. The story starts with Susana on a chair smoking a cigarette, as she does through most of the film, conversing with a psychologist about her attempt to commit suicide by

Bbp Depicted In Girl Inturrupted: This Is A Paper That Compares The Movie Girl Inturrupted To The Actual Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment Of Borderline Personality Disorder

1660 words - 7 pages There are many movies that depict mental disorders such as schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and many more. Girl Interrupted portrays several women with different disorders. How precise is this movies to the actual symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, to the disorder? We will discuss and compare these issues.Susanna Kaysen spent two years in a psychiatric hospital, McLean. Twenty-five years after her release she began to

Western Lit Paper Paper. On Donte Western And Litature Essay

1035 words - 5 pages what happens to people who sin. Dantes goes on a Journey through the gates of hell with the help of a Roman Greek poet named Virgil (a ghost) Mother interrupted and said “Why don’t you explain how it relates to us today? In that moment I looked around the table and all eyes were on me I took a sip of my drink and I decided that I was going to have to start at the beginning and explain the best I could about Dante journey thorough the

Ib Commentary: A Visit From The Footbinder Ib English Commentary

1098 words - 5 pages later confirmed in line 31 that Honey Tongue is a spirit, as she is described as an “apparition”). However, this is serenity is quickly interrupted by the reality of Pleasure Mouse’s pain and the coaxing of the women. Here the author spares no detail of the child’s “agony as sharp as stiletto blades”(l.27-28), as she emphasises the helpless confusion that this little girl is faced with. The brutality of Pleasure Mouse’s pain is suspended as Honey