Girl Interrupted Analysis Essay

1848 Words May 11th, 2008 8 Pages
Girl, Interrupted (1999) directed by James Mangold is largely based on a semi- autobiographical book by the same title. The movie chronicles eighteen year old Susanna Kaysen’s experiences surrounding her stay at a mental institution. It is 1967, a time of social change and unrest. Susanna makes a half-heart attempt at suicide, ingesting a bottle of aspirin and chasing the pills with a bottle of vodka. She is taken to the emergency room, her stomach is pumped and she survives. Afterwards she meets with a psychologist who explores her more recent feelings and experiences. The psychologist concludes, with her parents assent, that she would benefit from a stay at Claymore, a private mental institution. The next year and nine months forever …show more content…
At the end of the movie the two girls make peace and Susanna leaves wanting an eventual full recovery for Lisa. This serves as the best example of “a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation”.(2) A subpart of this particular criterion is “markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self”.(2) Susanna self image is not only unstable, but also largely negative. She alternates from moments of self acceptance and goal orientation to times of a general depression and a pervading sense of confusion. When asked by her high school guidance councilor what she wishes to do with her life, Susanna replies with a high degree of certainty that she wishes to be a writer and not a housewife like her mother, yet at the same time she has no interest in college and has no actual plan for achieving her goal.
Susanna can be seen, as was popular and socially acceptable at the time, smoking cigarettes throughout the entire movie. She can also be seen experimenting with marijuana and drinking social. More significantly she can be seen engaging in casual sex with a number of different partners. Susanna has relations with a professor who was also the father of one of her high school classmates. She can be seen having casual sex with a boy that she meets and befriends at a party and then again when he comes to visit her at the institution. She develops
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