Bridging Two Worlds in Girl Interrupted

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Bridging Two Worlds in Girl Interrupted Susanna Kaysen's memoir, Girl Interrupted describes Kaysen's struggle to transcend across the boundary that separates her from two parallel universes: the worlds of sanity and insanity, security and vulnerability. In this memoir, Kaysen details her existence as a psychiatric patient diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in a mental institution where time seems circular alongside a parallel universe where time is normally linear. The hospital itself becomes a paradoxical representation of both strict confinement and ultimate personal freedom. Through Kaysen's short, blunt phrase-like sentences, she forcefully impresses the shocking conditions she endured on the memory of her readers. Writing in a subtle, almost Hemingway-stark style, she merely suggests the actual reality of her situation in her objective observations of her experiences, leaving her readers in a disturbing position of being suspended between the world that Kaysen paints and the factual reality. And it is easy to slip into a 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) Through the disclosure of Kaysen's case record files, the readers learn that Kaysen was born on November 11, 1948 to Carl and Annette Kaysen. Kaysen grew up in an intellectual, ambitious, Jewish family prominent in the academic world; her father Carl was the director for advanced studies at Princeton University. However, on April 27, 1967 at age 18, Kaysen was admitted voluntarily to the McLean Hospital because of... ... middle of paper ... ...ceive our own experiences clearly nor understand ourselves and each other completely anyway. She implies that we all live suspended between a reality we live and a reality we create in our minds like the young girl in the Vermeer painting trapped in a world of muted light,unable to perceive everything lucidly. The girl at her music sits in another sort of light, the fitful, overcast light of life, by which we see ourselves and others only imperfectly, and seldom...(Kaysen, 168) Works Cited Cheever, Susan. "A Designated Crazy." The New York Times 20 June, 1993. Johnson, Alex, "A Conversation with Susanna Kaysen," Agni, 1994, p105 Johnson, Alex, "A Conversation with Susanna Kaysen," Agni, 1994, p105. Sharkey, Nancy. "Two Years in the Bin". The New York Times 20, June, 1993. Hampl, Patricia. "Memory and Imagination".

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