Novel Girl Interrupted (1993)written by Susanna Kaysen (1967 McLean 2 yrs) a best-seller on New York Times chart for many years
Film Girl Interrupted directed by James Mangold (1999) Winona Ryder as executive producer
Title from the painting Girl Interrupted at her music by Johannes Vemeer
Novel McLean as a parallel universe another Ivy League school
The film TV The Wizard of Oz Dorothea finding her way home
4 Introduction (2) Background and Theme
an age of revolution and political upheavalsVietnam War assassination of Martin Luther King
Girls go to girls college
Plot a girl (would-be writer) finds her way back to society after staying in Claymoore/McLean for two years.
Questions Interrupted by what At what place Return () to what
5 Madness vs. Normality
Are they sane Or Mad
Susanna Kaysen borderline personality
Polly Clark burns victim
6 Sane or Insane (Susanna Kaysen)
Have you ever confused a dream with life Or stolen something when you have the cash Have you ever been blue Or thought your train moving while sitting still Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe it was the 60s. Or maybe I was just a girl... interrupted.
7 Sane or Insane (Susanna) 8 Sane or Insane (Daisy) Diagnosis Eating disorder and other unspecified (chap 10) Symptoms Eating in private fathers chicken only keeping bones under bed attempted suicide (later after moved out) Claims EatingDumping (privacysexual implication) Possib le causes Incest (father) Suicide (button being pressed) 9 Sane or Insane (Lisa Rowe) Diagnosis Sociopath Symptoms Indifference disregard for the consequences... Susanna Her eyes are empty now 10 Sane or Insane (Georgina Tuskin) Diagnosis Pathological liar (my father is the head of CIA) Susanna G lies to people who want to keep her hereSometimes I think she wants to live in Oz forever. 11 Sane or Insane (Polly Clark)
Symptom Refuse to grow up
Possible Cause Childhood trauma (burn victim)
Curious about sex trigger her memory
Susanna sweetness and purity arent genuine at all but a desperately attempt to make it easier for us to look at her
12 Dependence Escape
Lisa rebellion against the institution others dependence.
Daisy Colace (a stool softener) chicken her father.
Polly doll Ruby
Georgina and many others Lisa
Escape Regression and Mutual Support
They smoke constantly swear bully and console each other.
Susanna finds no comfort from her family finds Lisa a pal.
Play child games.
Rebellion reading the diagnoses.
13 Causes Constructions of Girlhood
50s -- relatively conservative
viewed their childrens world with alarm and confusion and embraced few of the cultural changes.
60s Peace love and sex.
-- drafting death and Anti-war hippy
-- Rise of feminism
14 Womens Choices
1) Education -- Going to college (RadcIiffe. WeIIesIey) Pro.s wife Women should make up their mind.
Teacher Women nowadays have more choices. S No they dont.
Between being like her mother and burning bras and going for demonstration Susanna is forced to make a choice. Bias on females
2) Definition of promiscuity
15 Suzannes Diagnosis
Diagnosis Increasing patternlessness of life promiscuous might kill self or get pregnant (11).
(film chap 18) How many girls do you think a seventeen-year-old boy would have to screw to earn the label compulsively promiscuous Three No not enough. Six Doubtful. Ten That sounds more likely. Probably in the fifteen-to-twenty range would be my guessif they ever put that label on boys which I dont recall their doing.
And for seventeen-year-old-girls how many boys (158)
16 Treatments --
Hospitalization Necessity Susanna
Admission Voluntary She signs herself in has no right to leave.
Discharge qualification Daisy
(medicine administration name calling room checks indifferent attitude and no privacy. fascist torture chamber)
17 Treatments Exercise Narrative therapy Medicine Necessary abused in treatment cause abuse (e.g. addiction to Valium) Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and Seclusion treatment or punishment ETC possible permanent amnesia. damaging neurons 18 Treatments
Dr. Melvin unsuccessful without understanding patients.
Dr. Wick understanding insightful
19 Alternative Treatment
Interpersonal bonds like being in a girls school (chap 15) -socializing
Nurses orderlies Valerie (talks about her family) the other one about her boyfriend
Sisterhood (Tunnel Adventure Ice Cream Shop Playing Guitar)
pet -- Ruby
20 Turning Points for Susanna
Tobys visit Susanna decides to stay because she has friends in here.
(Sisterhood / Toby is not the one)
Runaway with Lisa borderlines drug homosexuality / Returning start to realize the deadly consequences seeing death
(Jamie / Daisys death / Lisas cruelty)
Valerie narrative therapy Susanna learns to get it out and put it away talk cure
2nd Tunnel Press others buttons
21 The Films ConclusionFinding her Way Back (1)
Dr. Wick and Valerie S as a lazy self-indulgent little girl driving herself crazy
The girls have to find their ways home (Wizard of Oz)
Sympathy for Daisy (how it hurts to smile) knows the seriousness of death
LisaSo many buttons to press so why is nobody pressing mine
To Lisa Youre dead already.
22 The Films ConclusionFinding her Way Back (2)
2. Self limitation (The point is control) in order to fit in the fucked-up world
Others pretends to not see purple people anymore
Lisa FloridaCinderella and Snow White.
Suzanne works at a bookstore stays in touch sees Dr. Wick twice a week and plans to write.
23 The Films ConclusionFinding her Way Back (3)
Definition of madness Matter of degree. Social standard majority norm.
Crazy isnt being broken...... or swallowing a dark secret. lts you or me......amplified. lf you ever told a lie......and enjoyed it. If you ever wished you could be a child forever. They were not perfect...but they were my friends.
24 Deleted Scenes in Film
(blood flood in supermarket boneless hands) She looks more normal in the films final version
Fewer coincidences Film is more realistic
No museum scene no explanation to the topic
25 From the Memoir to the Film
Dramatization and Addition
Going to Daisys house and Lisas final threat to Suzanne
The memoir juxtaposition of the hospital diagnosis
Fiction self in parallel universe more social critique
Film unclear boundaries self-development
The film Lisa -- Im playing the villain They were not perfect but they were my friends.
The memoirs endings
Suzanne out of the hospital because of her engagement
seeing Lisa with her baby on the street
26 Parallel Universe
There are so many of them worlds of the insane the criminal the crippled the dying perhaps of the dead as well. These worlds exist alongside this world and resemble it but are not in it (Kaysen 5). those excluded by normality in social discourses.
27 Kaysens disa Kaysens Resistance the social views
My self-image was not unstable. I saw myself quite correctly as unfit for the educational and social systems. But my parents and teachers did not share my self-image. Their image of me was unstable since it was out of kilter with reality and based on their needs and wishes. They did not put much value on my capacities which were admittedly few but genuine. I read everything I wrote constantly and I had boyfriends by the barrelful. (155)
Many disorders judging by the hospital population were more commonly diagnosed in women. (157)
In the list of six potentially self-damaging activities favored by the borderline personality three are commonly associated with women (shopping sprees shoplifting and eating binges) and one with men (reckless driving). One is not gender-specific as they say these days (psychoactive substance abuse). And the definition of the other (casual sex) is in the eye of the beholder. (158)
A chapter on
29 Borderline Personality
something of a catchall describing people with intense narcissism unstable personal relationships self-damaging behaviors and a need to create conflict among those around them. People receive the diagnosis because they manage to succeed at basic life tasks even though they often appear to be crazy.
Some psychotherapists will say however that the term borderline personality disorder is just another way of expressing that they hate the patient. Unfortunately borderlines do not respond well to pharmacotherapy unlike people suffering from more common diagnoses such as depression now treated almost exclusively with medication. (Krin Gabbard)
30 Interrupted by Whom The Teacher Vermeers Girl Interrupted at Her Music
Its the painting from whose frame a girl looks out ignoring her beefy music teacher whose proprietary hand rests on her chair . . . I looked intoher brown eyes and I recoiled. She was warning me of something she had looked up from her work
to warn me. Her mouth was
slightly open as if she had just drawn a breath in order to say to me Dont! (166) the affiar with the teacher
31 Interrupted by Whom Painting as a Social Discourse Vermeers Girl Interrupted at Her Music
Interrupted at her music as my life had been interrupted in the music of being seventeen as her life had been snatched and fixed on canvas one moment made to stand still and to stand for all the other moments whatever they would be or might have been. What life can recover from that (167).
(ending) we cant see her clearly.
Marshall Elizabeth. Borderline Girlhoods Mental Illness Adolescence and Femininity in Girl Interrupted. Lion the Unicorn 30. 1(2006 Jan) 117-133.
Gabbard Krin. Therapys Talking Cure Still Worksin Hollywood. Chronicle of Higher Education (11 Feb. 2000) B9.
33 Next Time
Two Chapters by
Faces of Madness
Quiz due in two weeks (very likely at EngSite).
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