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Kaysen's Girl Interrupted - Book Report/Review Example

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Kaysen's Girl Interrupted

Si-Ming Lee in her paper "Parallel Universes," states that the novel "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."
It is the continual internal struggle of Kaysen that propelled this novel to become one of the memorable films in 1993. People had to verify that their internal struggles are normal, that the stages of thought and deliberation are simply necessary. They had to know when and in what circumstances will it be considered as crossing the boarders into the parallel universe of the insane. The genuine rationale for the success of the book and the film according to a review, published in the World Socialist Web Site is because:
"Kaysen believes that people are curious about the circumstances of her hospital stay primarily to discover whether they might find themselves in the same situation. "It's easy," she says to find oneself in a "parallel universe" of mental illnessMost people suffering from mental illness do not enter the parallel universe immediately, Kaysen says. Instead, they catch brief glimpses of this other world where everything is different, including time, the laws of physics, and even the way everyday things appear to the eye. Eventually, the temptation to cross over is irresistible, and the alternate reality replaces the familiar. Once in the parallel universe, one is perfectly aware of the world left behind."
All throughout the novel Kaysen makes mention of the parallel universe especially when she is deep in thought. Although again not as obvious but subtle hints as she analyzes her reactions to things around her trying to determine and rationalize to which universe they belong- the sane or insane.
The best example of all, and one which will give meaning to the title occurs in the last few pages of the novel. As the reader reaches the remaining 10 pages of the book, one identifies Kaysen as the "Girl, Interrupted" only to find out in the last 4 pages that there is another one that Kaysen compares herself to. Does the "Girl, Interrupted" also lives in a parallel universe Kaysen retells their first meeting:
"I walked passed the lady in yellow robes and the maid bringing her a letter, past the soldier with a magnificent hat and the girl smiling at him, thinking of warm lips, brown eyes, blue eyes. Her brown eyes stopped mea girl looks out, ignoring her beefy music teacher I looked into her 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, "Don't!" I moved backward, trying to get beyond the range of her urgency. But her urgency filled the corridor. "Wait," she was saying, "wait! Don't go!" I didn't listen to her. I went out to dinner with my English teacher, and he kissed me, and I went back to Cambridge eventually, I went crazy." (Kaysen, 165-6)
Had Kaysen heeded this girls warning, she would not have done the succeeding actions that led her to go over the edge. Sixteen years passed and they again met, Kayzen recounts:
"She had changed a lot in sixteen years. She was no longer urgent. In fact, she was sad. She was young and distracted, and her ...Show more

Summary

Kaysen, in "Girl, Interrupted," writes subtlety opting to state her point but not overly emphasize the same. A careful reading and rereading of the novel will lead you to the points that she wishes the reader to learn from her own experiences and understanding.
Author : itremblay
Kaysens Girl Interrupted essay example
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