Saturday, April 24, 2010
By Susanna Kaysen
Reviewed by Desteny
This true story is about Susanna Kaysen's life when she was 18 in the sixties—the time where sex and drugs became extremely popular in society. No one really cared about morals around that time. She checks herself into McLean Hospital, which is a residential psychiatric program in Massachusetts. She checked in because she wanted to commit suicide. When she first checked in, she thought that she would only stay there for a couple of weeks, but she was wrong. During her stint in the mental ward, she meets very interesting people with very terrifying problems. There is Lisa, a girl that was diagnosed as being a sociopath, who is basically the leader of the group; Polly, a girl that tried to burn herself to death; Daisy, who has an eating disorder; and a few other patients.
"Freedom [is] the price of privacy" when Susanna and the other girls are locked away from reality, for they don't have privacy. They have lost the freedom of a normal life. Nurses always have to know where they are all the time—it's their responsibility. Lisa, who is my favorite character, always tries to run away from the hospital. She makes the book a lot more interesting. I just think it is weird that she always sees the world as black and white. She never sees the good side to anything. She likes to argue and tell off the nurses and anyone that is in charge. I still like her though. She is fearless and does not care what anyone thinks of her. She makes the book more interesting.
It is an ongoing situation for Susanna and the rest of the patients—trying to find their identity in life. Some of the girls want to get better, but some would just rather stay in there. Susanna thinks there is no hope of being released as a stable person. She fears that she will be in there for the rest of her pathetic life. They think they are crazy and maybe they shouldn't even live a regular life. They want to get out of the psych-ward but at the same time they don't. You'll just have to see if this ever happens…